Nanci Koschman: Questions Remain in Son's Death

Nanci Koschman said Friday she is grateful for the work of special prosecutor Dan Webb, but Thursday’s news of no more indictments and a sealed grand jury report did little to shed light on the questions that remain for her.

“Was it a case of from the beginning they knew and handled it differently?” she said. “Is that what this is all going to prove? From day one? Those are the answers I’d like.”

David Koschman, 21, died from a single punch thrown during a 2004 argument outside the bars of Division Street.

It took eight and a half years, and the work of a special prosecutor to charge the nephew of then mayor Richard Daley.

R.J. Vanecko now stands accused of involuntary manslaughter for striking Koschman, who fell, hit his head on the pavement and died 11 days later.

Among Nanci Koschman’s questions are the actions or inactions of police and prosecutors in the hours and days after her son was struck.

“I’d like to see those first 11 days, like what did they do?” She said. “I guess I should have been the advocate for David. But I was advocating for him in the hospital. Should I have called the police the next day and say who did this to my son. Why is he laying here?”

Webb’s report said it was impossible to charge anyone from 2004 for any misconduct because the statute of limitations ran out in 2007.

It was a haunting revelation for Nanci Koschman.

“And I guess I continue to blame myself for all of this because I guess I should have been stronger,” Koschman said. “I should have been there to say ‘hey, they’re making a mess of this.’”

The 162-page report produced by Webb was sealed, said Judge Michael Toomin to prevent adverse pretrial publicity to Vanecko, whose trial is set for early next year.

“I respect Judge Toomin saying ‘let’s seal it until after the trial,’ but there’s a part of me like, could you just send me the first four pages so I can put my head down at night and know I couldn’t have made a change,” Koschman said.

While the lack of new charges frustrates Nanci Koschman she says friends have tried mightily to comfort her.

“People yesterday were saying to me, ‘David knows you’ve done everything you could,’” she said. “I know I did everything I could for him while he was here. Now my guilt is I didn’t do everything for him after he was gone.”

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