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Daley Nephew's Lawyers Deny Claims Of Confession, Cover-up

By Chris Bentley in News on Mar 27, 2012 7:20PM

2012_3_27_vanecko_rj.jpg Attorneys for Daley nephew Richard Vanecko blasted the Sun-Times and lawyers for the family of David Koschman for claims that Vanecko may have confessed to fatally punching 21-year-old Koschman in 2004.

Sworn statements from four of Koschman’s friends made after they were unable to identify Vanecko in a police lineup say police knew eight years ago who killed Koschman. One witness, Koschman’s friend James Copeland, told the inspector general’s office last year that a detective had said, “We know the guy that did it. He’s in there in the other room, and he’s just bawling his eyes out, he’s a big baby.”

Vanecko’s attorney Terry Gillespie told the Tribune reports of a confession are “absolute nonsense, [a] total fabrication.” Lawyers for Vanecko filed papers in court to counter calls for a special prosecutor by lawyers for the slain Mount Prospect man’s family.

Nanci Koschman’s petition to the court alleges police “deliberately falsified” reports during their investigation, and that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is running interference on the case in deference to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, a longtime colleague. Alvarez long contended continual requests for interview transcripts and other information about the eight-year-old case, even blocking a probe into the case by Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard.

Among the files Alvarez tried unsuccessfully to withhold were sworn statements made by Copeland and other friends of Koschman’s. The state’s attorney’s office declined to charge Vanecko in 2004, when Alvarez was Chief Deputy of the office under then-state’s attorney Richard A. Devine.

Koschman’s lawyers and the state’s attorney’s office will argue Friday whether a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the case.