The special prosecutor who brought involuntary manslaughter charges against former Mayor Richard Daley's nephew announced this morning that a special grand jury has ended its investigation of how Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors handled the 2004 death case and that no charges will be filed.
Special prosecutor Dan Webb's office announced that the grand jury investigation is complete and that he has filed a 162-page report on how authorities handled the investigation into the 2004 death of David Koschman.
Webb sought to have the report sealed until after Daley nephew Richard Vanecko's involuntary manslaughter trial is over, a motion that was granted by Judge Michael Toomin on Wednesday.
"No additional indictments have been sought because the applicable statute of limitations bars any prosecutions under state law for Chicago Police Department and Cook County State's Attorney's Office actions taken in 2004 and there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any state criminal law violations as to actions taken by CPD personnel in 2011," Webb wrote in a motion to temporarily seal his report.
Koschman, 21, of Mount Prospect, had been drinking in the Rush Street night life district when he and friends quarreled with a group that included Vanecko. During the altercation, Vanecko knocked Koschman to the street, hitting the back of his head on the pavement, the charge alleges. He died 11 days later from brain trauma.
Webb was appointed as special prosecutor more than a year ago after an investigative series by the Chicago Sun-Times raised questions about whether authorities intentionally concealed evidence in the investigation for political reasons.
When Vanecko was indicted in December, Webb said the special grand jury continued to probe how police and prosecutors handled the initial investigation into Koschman's death as well as when detectives took another look at the case in 2011.
Among the allegations Webb was asked to investigate was whether police mischaracterized witnesses' statements to make it falsely appear that Koschman was the physical aggressor in the altercation.
Vanecko has pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges.
McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre has been appointed to preside over his trial. She has signaled to lawyers in the case that she wants the trial to get under way early next year.
McIntyre was appointed to preside over the trial after a Cook County judge randomly assigned to the case bowed out because of ties to Daley.
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