A grand jury indicted Richard M. Daley’s nephew Monday for his alleged role in the 2004 death of David Koschman. The 21-year-old victim was injured in a fight outside a bar on Rush Street and died in the hospital 11 days later.
Richard J. Vanecko, who is the the son of former Mayor Daley’s sister, was charged with involuntary manslaughter Monday after a 6-month investigation. He allegedly punched Koschman in the face and departed the scene in a cab. The investigation, conducted by Cook County special prosecutor Dan Webb, also includes an inquiry into how the case was initially handled and why no charges were filed.
Nanci Koschman, David Koschman’s mother, said the police detective she spoke to in 2004 blamed the incident on her son.
“When that detective came in and said it’s all your son’s fault, it’s all his responsibility, that’s like a knife through a mother’s heart,” she said, tearing up repeatedly in a press conference Monday. “He told me I’d be impressed by the names of the people that were involved with the case, and that if I tried to sue, they would keep me tied up in court for years.”
Koschman said when she realized there would be no investigation, she threw up her hands.
“My dad used to have a saying to my sister and me, you can’t fight City Hall. I never really thought that I was gonna go anywhere,” she said.
But in April of this year, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin appointed Webb to the case.
“Now at least I see that with a lot of good people behind you, good things can happen,” said Koschman. She was accompanied by Locke Bowman, legal director of the Solange and Roderick Macarthur Justice Center at Northwestern Law School, and two attorneys from the People’s Law Office.
“One of the reasons Mr. Bowman and myself got involved in this case was because of the, to put it kindly, the irregularities in this investigation over an eight-year period,” said Flint Taylor, partner at the People’s Law Office.
“The failures to properly investigate and to indict eight years ago speak volumes about the inadequacies of that investigation.”
Mr. Vanecko’s arraignment is set for December 10.