Judge Michael P. Toomin will decide in the coming weeks whether to unseal the report of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb prior to the involuntary manslaughter trial of Richard J. Vanecko, a nephew and grandson of Chicago mayors Richard J. and Richard M. Daley. Or decide keep that report sealed until after Vanecko's February trial.
Damon Dunn, attorney for NBC5 and the Chicago Sun-Times, argued the public's right to know the details of how prosecutors and police conducted its investigations into the 2004 "heater" homicide case of David Koschman trump arguments that releasing the report would jeopardize Vanecko's right to a fair trial.
Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, in an impassioned argument, told Judge Toomin that NBC5 and the Sun-Times motion to unseal "Ignores that this report is filled with grand jury testimony."
"The First Amendment isn't unlimited," protested Webb.
Dunn argued Webb had not established why this report would be so prejudicial or why a jury couldn't be instructed, as they often are, to ignore it.
Vanecko attorney Thomas Breen sided with Webb in maintaining the seal on the report while at the same time saying that he intends to ask for its release to the defense team only.
Locke Bowman representing Nanci Koschman, the mother of David Koschman who died from a lone punch allegedly thrown by Vanecko in 2004, said while they want a fair trial for Vanecko, they see a strong public interest in how this case lingered uncharged for more than seven years until the Sun-Times and NBC5 began a series of reports and until Webb was subsequently appointed.
Lawyers have two weeks to file their briefs before Toomin.