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McHenry County Judge Appointed To Vanecko Trial

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 4, 2013 9:25PM

The Chicago Police Department's booking photo of Richard "RJ" Vanecko.
A McHenry Circuit Court judge has been appointed to preside over the upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial of Richard “RJ” Vanecko. Judge Maureen P. McIntyre of the 22nd Circuit Court was chosen by McHenry County chief judge Michael Sullivan to hear the case.

McIntyre has been a judge since 1996 and was retained by voters in November to another six-year term. She currently serves in the McHenry County Juvenile Court system, according to the McHenry County blog. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to a request from Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans last month to appoint an outside judge to preside over the Vanecko trial.

Associate Judge Arthur F. Hill Jr. recused himself from the case out of “an abundance of caution.” Hill used to work for former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vanecko’s uncle, when Daley was Cook County State’s Attorney. Attorney Stephen J. Senderowitz, part of the special prosecutor team formed by attorney Dan Webb, filed the request for an outside judge to preside over the case, claiming finding a judge in Cook County without ties to the Daleys or the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office would be next to impossible.

Vanecko was indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges by a grand jury in the 2004 death of David Koschman. Koschman died from injuries sustained by a punch thrown by Vanecko, but charges were never filed against him in the original investigation or a 2011 re-investigation spurred by a series of Sun-Times articles about the incident.