Viramontes today in connection with a baseball bat beating in which a Northern Ireland exchange student suffered severe head injuries and her friend was hurt as well.
The jury deliberated about 3 ½ hours before convicting
Viramontes on all 10 counts of attempted first-degree murder, armed
robbery and aggravated battery in the April 23, 2010, beatings of Natasha
McShane and Stacy Jurich.
About two hours into their deliberations, jurors had asked for
transcripts of the recordings of Heriberto Viramontes’ calls from
Cook County Jail following his arrest, as well as a photo of his neck
Prosecutors said the tattoo was visible in video from a gas station where
Viramontes allegedly used one of the victims' credit cards to pump gas for
motorists in exchange for cash.
During closing arguments earlier today, Assistant State’s Attorney John
Maher called Viramontes “every parent’s nightmare” and
said "he took everything" from the victims.
“He took Natasha McShane’s future ….He burdened them (the
McShane family) with the life task of caring for their daughter. He
took serenity and sleep from Stacy Jurich along with her peripheral
vision and part of her scalp.”
At one point Maher walked about the courtroom with the bat that prosecutors
believe was used in the beating, telling jurors, “Behold Heriberto Viramontes,
every parent’s nightmare.”
Maher called damning the audio recordings in which
Viramontes admitted on calls from Cook County Jail that he attacked
the two women.
"They bury that guy right there " he said, his voice rising. "The trial ended
the moment those were published. "
Viramontes’ attorney, Chandra Smith, said the attack was a
tragedy but her client was innocent.
"We don't know who did this, but we know it was not Mr.
Viramontes,” she told jurors.
Smith said Viramontes’ co-defendant, Marcy Cruz, who testified against him,
cannot be trusted.
She cautioned jurors about the jail recordings, saying only a portion of the
calls were played and that they were taken out of context. But if jurors
believed the prosecution’s version of the recordings, she said the calls show he
did not have the intent to kill that is needed to prove attempted first-degree
The attack took place in the early hours of April 23, 2010, in the 1800
block of North Damen Avenue as the McShane and
Jurich walked home from celebrating an internship
McShane had just landed.
Jurich, who was in the courtroom for the closing
arguments, was able to return to work but testified during the trial that she
still has severe headaches and reduced vision.