Daley nephew Richard J. Vanecko charged in 2004 death of David Koschman

December 3, 2012 (CHICAGO)

The indictment of Richard J. Vanecko stems from a deadly altercation outside a Chicago bar back in 2004.

Vanecko lives in California but he will be coming back to Chicago next week for his arraignment.

David Koschman's mother says she is gratified by the work of the special grand jury but takes no joy from what they've concluded.

The police explanation has long been that David Koschman was responsible for his own death, that he and friends were bar-hopping, drunk, and that he provoked an incident leading to a punch that would lead to his mom taking him off life-support 11 days later.

"When that detective came in and said it was all your son's fault, it's all his responsibility, that's like a knife through a mother's heart," said Nanci Koschman.

Nanci Koschman has long wanted an explanation of what happened that night. Police determined that the punch was thrown by Richard J. Vanecko, the nephew of former Mayor Daley.

The police and two different state's attorneys chose not to file any charges, but now a special grand jury led by former U.S. attorney Dan Webb has, charging Vanecko with involuntary manslaughter.

Nanci Koschman says she wants an explanation, not vengeance.

"I never went out with the thought that R.J. Vanecko went out to hurt my son that night," said Koschman. "But all along the police and the detectives made it sound like it was all David's fault, and that was all I wanted the record cleared...that David was not at fault that night, that he didn't cause his own death."

The special grand jury continues to look at whether law enforcement looked the other way in the Koschman case.

"We applaud the fact an indictment has been reached, but we certainly look forward to the thorough and complete airing of why this indictment was not brought previously," said Flint Taylor of the People's Law Office.

Police and prosecutors say that political favoritism was never part of their equation, that they didn't file charges because Koschman was the aggressor, and that Vanecko who was 10 inches taller and 100 pounds heavier was acting in self-defense.

"I believe that this office has handled this case with the utmost integrity from the get-go," said Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. "So the investigation is continuing. I don't want to comment any further."

"Let the process work. I'm fully committed to fully copperating. We'll see where it goes," said former Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine.

Vanecko's legal team issued a written statement Monday afternoon, saying the reason charges weren't filed eight years ago was not because of political favoritism, but because the facts simply didn't warrant it, and when the facts are aired in a court of law they are confident that Vanecko will be found not guilty.

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