Bucktown bat attack jury selection begins in trial of Heriberto Viramontes 3 years after Natasha McShane, Stacy Jurich beating

The trial begins for a Chicago man accused of attacking two young women, Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich, with a baseball bat in the city's Bucktown community.
October 15, 2013 3:28:26 PM PDT
Jury selection began Tuesday in the 2010 baseball bat attack on two women in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Heriberto Viramontes is charged with 25 felony counts, including attempted murder, in the attack on Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich.

Four jurors were seated on Tuesday out of pool of 60 potential jurors. All are Cook County residents and even include some notable public figures. Once seated, these jurors will decide the facts in this case.

The family of Natasha McShane arrived from Northern Ireland but did not stay in the courthouse on Tuesday.

McShane and Jurich, then 23 and 24 years old, were walking home when they were brutally beaten with a baseball bat. McShane, who was an exchange student from Northern Ireland, still can't walk or talk. Her family appeared Tuesday at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse as Viramontes' trial began.

"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.

Marcy Cruz was also charged in the case. She pleaded guilty to attempted murder. In a plea deal for a lesser sentence, she will testify against Viramontes. She is expected to say she was in a van with Viramontes in the early morning hours of April 23, 2010, who left with a bat and returned to the vehicle later with two purses.

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.

"The Irish community has come together in Chicago and the suburbs to run benefits and welcome the family and bring them in our homes and try to show them the good side of Chicago," said John Gorski, Irish American Heritage Center.

"This is a young woman whose life has been altered forever. Hopefully they'll get this guy off the street so that he can't do this to anyone else. That's something, I don't think it will make up for what he's done, but that's something," said Bobby McGuire, McShane's former employer.

The judge and attorneys on both sides will continue questioning potential jurors until they have seated 12 jurors and a couple alternates. Then, opening statements can begin, which could come as soon as Wednesday.