Petitioners Explain Koschman Filing

A group of petitioners and family members who submitted a "friends of the court" brief asking for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the inestigation into the death of David Koschman, Thursday, said action was need to bring closure to the family.

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Koschman died as a result of a single punch thrown in the early morning hours of April 25, 2004 by R.J. Vanecko, the nephew of former Mayor Richard Daley.  Chicago police concluded earlier this year that Vanecko threw the punch but acted in self-defense.

In the early morning hours of April 25, 2004, Koschman and four friends, out to celebrate his 21st birthday, got into argument with Vanecko and three others.According to police reports, both groups had been drinking heavily, there was a bump and words were exchanged, followed by the single punch.

For seven years the case remained dormant until questions were raised by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Wednesday, the Koschman family, along with the Better Government Association and Northwestern Law Professer Locke Bowman, stating: 

"This Petition is being filed because of Petitioners' concern that the investigation of David Koschman's death was influenced by R.J. Vanecko's membership in the most powerful political family in Cook County. Petitioners believe that had Vanecko not been a member of the powerful Daley family he would have been charged with the homicide. The handling of this matter by the Chicago Police and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office raises questions that cry out for objective, unbiased investigation."

Thursday, Andy Shaw, from the Better Government association said the filing does not amount to a "witch hunt" against Vanecko, but rather a tool to help cut through years of political and professional cover ups.

"I hope there wasn’t political interference," Shaw said. "I hope there wasn’t political considerations but because of all the irregularities and oddities of the case and the public aspects…only way we will know."

Nanci Koschman echoed those statments saying she does not think Vanecko intended to kill her son, but voiced her displeasure at years of red tape and stonewalling.

“I know in my heart of hearts that RJ Vanecko did not go out that night to kill my son," she said.  “I think once they found out who was involved it was easier to blame the young man from the suburbs, than the big guy from downtown.”

Bowman put it more succinctly.

"We need a special prosecutor who has the power to convene a grand jury. The power to compel responses to subpoenas and the power to criminally charge those who may be criminally responsible for misconduct on April 25, 2004 and thereafter.”

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