Richard Vanecko | Daley nephew due in Chicago criminal court - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Daley nephew pleads not guilty for involuntary manslaughter

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Richard Vanecko, the nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley, made his first court appearance Monday in the 2004 death of David Koschman.

Vanecko's lawyers entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and agreed to return next Monday to discuss whether the defense or the prosecutors will object to the judge who's been assigned to the case.

"R.J." Vanecko is charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death, 8 years ago, of 21-year-old David Koschman. Investigators say Vanecko allegedly punched Koschman during an argument and Koschman died 11 days later.

Vanecko's case was assigned to Judge Art Hill Junior, who disclosed that he'd been a prosecutor under State's Attorney Richard Daley and that Daley, as mayor, appointed Hill to the CTA Board. The judge said he could be fair, but both sides have a week to decide whether they'd seek another judge.

Special Prosecutor Dan Webb left without comment, except to say, "everything's well, we're back in court next Monday."

DePaul Law professor Len Cavise say Judge Hill's likely to stay on the case.

"Judge Hill's got a pretty decent representation in the courthouse, but secondly, and even more importantly, he's already sensitive to the perceived conflict issue," says Cavise. "So, I think he'll go out of his way to make sure it stays Kosher."

Judge Hill was selected by a random procedure. Either side can ask for another judge. Prosecutors could be concerned that Judge Hill was too tight with the mayor and defense lawyers might be concerned that he's got a long history as a prosecutor.

Daley nephew in court on charges involving River North death

It's a case eight years in the making. The nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley is due is court on involuntary manslaughter charges regarding the death of David Koschman. More>>

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