Judge Denies Vanecko Motions To Dismiss Case

A judge on Thursday ruled against three motions filed by attorneys representing R.J. Vanecko asking that his indictment on a charge of involuntary manslaughter be dismissed.

Vanecko, the nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley, is charged with throwing a punch in 2004 that caused the death of 21-year old David Koschman of Mount Prospect.

Vanecko’s attorneys argued the appointment of Special Prosecutor Dan Webb was inappropriate and never should have been ordered by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin. 

McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre, who was brought in to hear the case, said that was an issue outside the scope of her duties and ruled against Vanecko. She also rejected defense claims that it was inappropriate to impanel a special 23-member grand jury in Webb’s law office and ruled there had been no prosecutorial misconduct, as the defense suggested.

Koschman died from wounds following an argument on Division Street in the early morning hours of April 25, 2004. An altercation occurred after a group including Koschman bumped into a group that included Vanecko. Words were exchanged and according to the indictment a single punch was thrown. Koschman fell, striking his head on the pavement. He died 11 days later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, never completely regaining consciousness.

Webb was appointed special prosecutor after police and prosecutors declined to press charges after investigations in 2004 and 2011.

The judge delayed a ruling until Jan. 31 on another defense motion to divest reporters from NBC 5 and the Chicago-Sun-Times of their reporters privilege and compel them to turn over notes gathered during nearly 3 years of reporting. 

Vanecko’s trial is set to begin on Feb. 18.

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