Man found guilty in 2010 baseball bat attack on two women

Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A Chicago man was found guilty of assaulting two women with a baseball bat in the city's Bucktown neighborhood that left one victim unable to walk or speak.

His conviction Thursday means Heriberto Viramontes faces between six and 120 years in prison for the 2010 assault that Stacy Jurich says still gives her excruciating headaches and left her friend, Irish exchange student Natasha McShane, unable to walk or speak, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

"There hasn't been a night that passed in the past 3 1/2 years that I didn't wake up in a night terror reliving what happened," Jurich said.

Sheila McShane, Natasha McShane's mother, told the Sun-Times, "It's been a long day."

Asked if she thought justice was served, the mother said, "Yes, absolutely."

The jury deliberated for 3 1/2 hours Thursday before announcing it found Viramontes, 34, guilty of 10 felonies, including two counts of attempted murder.

Viramontes fled with the women's purses after he swung a wooden baseball bat at the back of their heads April 23, 2010. Natasha McShane and Jurich were going to McShane's home after celebrating an internship McShane landed and a business deal Jurich made at work when Viramontes attacked them.

The Irish media followed the case and McShane's family in Northern Ireland watched local coverage.

During closing arguments Thursday, Assistant State's Attorney John Maher called Viramontes "every parent's nightmare" who took "everything" from the victims, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Viramontes' attorney, Chandra Smith, tried to cast doubt on co-defendant Marcy Cruz, a former stripper who waited for Viramontes in a van during the crime and who testified against him at the trial and attempted to downplay a jailhouse recording in which Viramontes admitted during telephone conversations he attacked the women.

"We don't know who did this, but we know it was not Mr. Viramontes," she told jurors.

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