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Vanecko's Attorneys Want Sun-Times' Koschman Records

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 27, 2013 5:40PM

2012_4_6_koschman.jpg Attorneys for Richard "RJ" Vanecko are continuing their "see what sticks" approach to have their client's involuntary manslaughter charge dropped Tuesday asked for interview records from the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times' 2011 investigation into Koschman's death was what triggered a domino effect that eventually led to Vanecko's indictment last year.

Attorney's Thomas Breen, Terence Gillespie and Marc Martin said in court filings the only reason Vanecko was charged “was the Sun-Times’ insistence on it.” They're claiming the Sun-Times' interviews with witnesses to the confrontation that led to Koschman's death allowed the newspaper to "(act) as pseudo-law enforcement officers by conducting photographic lineups, playing on witnesses' emotions to get information, and feeding them information."

The filing further reads:

"Either CPD officers are lying about what witnesses said to them, the witnesses lied to the Sun-Times, or the Sun-Times has altered or not reported the full account of what the witnesses told reporters. The answer to this conundrum will be a central issue at Vanecko's trial."

Vanecko's attorneys are seeking to have his manslaughter charge dropped on other grounds including claims Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael P. Toomin overstepped his authority in appointing attorney Dan Webb as special prosecutor in the Koschman investigation; the grand jury process was "tainted" because Toomin allowed Webb to let jurors meet at the offices of Webb's law firm Winston & Strawn instead of at the Cook County courthouse; and that only Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez should have been allowed to bring charges in the Koschman investigation.