In March, Coach is Right published a story of official cover-up and falsification of witness testimony involved in the 2004 death of David Koschman at the hands of Richard Vanecko, nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.
In the early morning hours of April 25th 2004, Koschman and three friends bumped into someone from a group that had been visiting the bars in downtown Chicago. A moment later, a member of that party struck Koschman, driving his head into the street and causing brain damage from which the young man never recovered. His mother buried him 20 days later, disconnecting life support after 2 failed surgeries.
One full month after the event, police informed Koschman’s mother that her 5’5”, 125 lb son had “been the aggressor” in a fight with the 6’3”, 230 lb Vanecko and as a result, though her son was killed, no charges would be filed. Police told Mrs. Koschman that she would be “impressed” with who her son’s attacker was related to and that “… if she sued, his family had the wherewithal to tie the case up in court ‘for years.’ In fact, Vanecko and a friend had run away after the punch was thrown, and Vanecko was only identified at all because another member of his party had been physically restrained at the scene by witnesses.
Seven years later, the case was briefly reopened in response to a flurry of articles in which the Chicago Sun Times accused police and the Mayor’s office of official malfeasance and cover-up. The Sun Times had discovered that police did NOT interview witnesses until Koschman had died, some 3 weeks after the event; that Vanecko had refused to be interviewed by police and had shaved his head to change his appearance in anticipation of a police lineup that was held 1 MONTH after the altercation; that witness Michael Connolly claimed police had misrepresented his statements to them in order to make Koschman appear the aggressor; that the case file had suddenly gone missing from the prosecutor’s office; and that the States Attorney refused to reveal the name of the prosecutor who decided to neither file charges or refer the case to a Grand Jury.
The case was then officially closed by Chicago police.
But in 2012, the events of Koschman’s death were finally turned over to a Grand Jury, which on December 3rd indicted Vanecko for “…the use of physical force without lawful justification…” and with “…recklessly perform[ing] acts which were likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another…” Vanecko has been indicted for involuntary manslaughter, a charge which could bring up to 5 years in jail.
Circuit Court Judge Michael Toomin found that, “…in public statements, prosecutors and police portrayed Vanecko as acting in self-defense despite never having interviewed or spoken to him…” A special prosecutor appointed by the judge is asking for “…the grand jury’s investigation into whether the Chicago Police Department and the county’s state attorney’s office ‘acted intentionally to suppress and conceal evidence, furnish false evidence and generally impede the investigation’ .”
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