Jury selection to begin in 2010 Bucktown bat attack

October 14, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in the attempted murder trial of a man accused of using a baseball bat to attack two women who were walking home after a night of dancing.

The beating in Bucktown left an exchange student from Northern Ireland with head injuries so severe she cannot walk or speak. The crime and the victims made international news.

"It seems like a nightmare you want to wake up from but it is happening. We are going to have to deal with it. All we have to do is move on and pray and hope Natasha will be better, which she will be," Conor McShane, Natasha's brother, told the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Two young women wererobbed and beaten with a bat in 2010. Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane survived, but were critically injured. Jurich, who was 24 at the time, grew up in Oak Forest and worked for a brokerage firm. McShane, who was 23 at the time of the attack, was a UIC student from Ireland. McShane's injuries were so severe that three years later she cannot speak or walk.

This week the man charged with the attack goes on trial, Heriberto Viramontes. Viramontes is charged with 25 felony counts including attempted murder. It's expected to be a jury trial, with jury selection beginning Tuesday.

Also charged was Marcy Cruz. Cruz has pleaded guilty to attempted murder and agreed to a lesser sentence, and in return, she agreed to testify against Viramontes. Cruz is expected to testify she was in a van in the early morning hours of April 23 2010 when Viramontes got out with a bat and returned a few minutes later with two purses.

Stacy Jurich is also expected to testify. She told the Chicago Tribune about her recovery: "Physically and mentally the attack has taken a toll on me. Some days are better than others. Learning to accept the brain I have today will never be what it is difficult, still a struggle at times. The priority now is getting through the trial and hopefully finding justice for myself and dear Natasha."

McShane's mother is also expected to testify about her injuries and the jury is also expected to see video of McShane after the attack. Jury selection is expected on Tuesday, and opening statements could begin on Wednesday.

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