New judge presides over Vanecko hearing

Vanecko (left), Koschman (right)

January 18, 2013 4:27:29 PM PST
A new judge presided over Friday's hearing in the involuntary manslaughter case against Richard Vanecko, the nephew of former mayor Richard Daley.

The previous judge removed himself because of his ties to Daley.

Vanecko lives in California now, but he has been required to return for his court appearances, and Friday he appeared before the judge who will preside over his involuntary manslaughter trial.

McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre was named to hear the case to avoid questions of judicial conflict since so many Cook County judges have political ties to former Mayor Daley, who is Vanecko's uncle.

Judge McIntyre said in court Friday afternoon, "I do not know anyone involved. My family does not know anyone involved." To which Vanecko attorney terry Gillespie joked, "You would be the first one."

Vanecko is 38. It was nearly nine years ago that he struck then 21-year-old David Koschman with a punch during an alcohol-fueled street quarrel.

Koschman later died.

Police and prosecutors were later accused of soft-pedaling the investigation because of political favoritism.

The special prosecutor's case against Vanecko has generated a huge volume of evidence: 17,000 documents, 200,000 pages, audio tapes, hospital reports.

The sheer volume of evidence, all the records, all the paper and the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, means that the actual trial of Vanecko will not likely begin until sometime in the fall.