A Costa Mesa man who is the nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley faces trial in the Windy City for manslaughter. Richard Vanecko, 38, allegedly punched a Mount Prospect man in the face outside a Chicago bar during the early morning hours of April 25, 2004. The man fell backward, hit his head hard on the pavement and died from brain injuries 11 days later.
McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre told attorneys recently to "keep January and February open" for the involuntary manslaughter trial, the Chicago Daily Herald reports.
It's amazing there is a trial at all because two police investigations failed to produce charges against Vanecko. The family of the deceased, 21-year-old college student David Koschman, alleged the accused's relationship to Daley compromised the investigation.
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Cook County Judge Michael Toomin ordered special prosecutor Dan K. Webb to look into Koschman's death in April 2012. A Cook County grand jury indicted Vanecko in December. The Illinois Supreme Court assigned the case to McIntyre to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
Vanecko, who moved from Chicago to Orange County after the bar fight, is reportedly free on a $100,000 bond. Potential punishment with a conviction ranges from probation to five years in prison.
Meanwhile, the Cook County grand jury is not done with the case, as it is now investigating why Chicago police did not seek charges against Vanecko.