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Ruling Expected Next Week In Death Case Involving Daley Nephew

CHICAGO (STMW) -- Nearly eight years after David Koschman's violent death, a Cook County judge said Thursday he will announce his decision late next week on whether to appoint a special prosecutor to re-investigate the Mount Prospect man's death after being punched by a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Nanci Koschman, David Koschman's mother, and two other relatives want Circuit Judge Michael Toomin to appoint an outside prosecutor to determine whether criminal charges still might be merited in the death, and to investigate the Chicago Police Department and Cook County State's Attorney's office's handling of the case.

State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has fought the bid for a special prosecutor, and lawyers for Daley nephew Richard J. "R.J." Vanecko also told the judge they oppose the appointment.

Koschman, 21, died on May 4, 2004, 11 days after being punched in the face in a drunken confrontation with Vanecko on Division Street.

Last year, the police for the first time publicly identified Vanecko as having thrown the deadly punch. That followed a police review of the case prompted by a Chicago Sun-Times investigation.

Koschman family lawyers say an outside prosecutor is needed to investigate whether political influence played a role in the decision not to charge Vanecko.

The police said they determined Vanecko acted in self-defense, though he threw the only punch.

Friends who were with Koschman on the night of the confrontation have told the Sun-Times that police wrongly characterized what they told them.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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