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Daley Nephew Trial To Begin Early Next Year

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David Koschman died following a single punch thrown, police say, by R.J Vanecko. Carol Marin reports.

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Former Mayor Richard M. Daley's nephew will face trial in the David Koschman case early next year.

Judge Maureen McIntyre told Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko and his attorneys during a Tuesday hearing to keep January and February open for the trial.

Vanecko pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman, a 21-year-old man from Mt. Prospect who died from brain injuries after a single punch.

Prosecutors say Koschman died 11 days after Vanecko punched him in a fight on Chicago's Division Street in April 2004. An investigation led to Vanecko's indictment nearly nine years later.

Vanecko was never questioned by police. His attorney, Terence Gillespie, has said his client did nothing wrong that night and that no political clout came into play in the investigation.

Until late last year, any criminal legal action against Vanecko has been nearly non-existent from the police and the state's attorney's office. That has raised serious questions about whether Vanecko, the grandson of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, received special treatment.

When charges came down, Koschman's mother, Nanci, said she feels no need for revenge against Vanecko but said the Monday charge brings peace to her and her family.

"I wanted it on record that this man hit my son for no reason," she said.

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