Guilty: Evil Viramontes found guilty of horrific Natasha McShane attack
The man accused of the attempted murder of South Armagh woman Natasha McShane has been found guilty after a week long trial.
Evil 34 year old Heriberto Viramontes was at Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago when he was told he would face between 6 and 120 years in jail for the horrendous attack.
On 23rd April 2010 Natasha, then 23, was brutally attacked in Chicago and beaten close to death. At approximately 3.30am on the night in question, Natasha and her friend Stacy Jurich were walking through the Bucktown area of Chicago when they were approached from behind and beaten with a baseball bat.
Suspected attacker Viramontes then allegedly made off in a getaway car driven by his friend Marcy Cruz (27) but both were arrested soon after.
Members of the McShane family were in tears as the jury read out a guilty verdict after deliberating for just three hours. The verdict was bittersweet for the family; relief that justice had finally prevailed and evil Viramontes imprisoned, but tinged with sadness that Natasha will never be the same again.
Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the verdict a statement by Natasha’s brother Conor was read to the gathering media. “This crime against my sister has changed my life forever. It has had a devastating impact on our entire family,” it read.
The guilty verdict Conor said, “provides us with a sense of justice and it provides us with a sense of great relief.”
He added, “Natasha’s life is a daily struggle, and this attack has ruined her life and it has brought great sadness and sorrow to our home.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said, “Chicago is a beautiful city, it is a shame that someone like Natasha McShane, who was here to continue her schooling, someone who was visiting from Ireland, that she was not able to enjoy all the beauty that Chicago has to offer.
“Instead of welcoming our visitors with an open heart, she was confronted with a baseball bat. I am very pleased that this man has been held responsible for the brutal and senseless beating of both Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane.”
An emotional Stacy Jurich, with her arms around Natasha’s mother, described the last three and a half years as ‘the hardest time of my entire life’. “It was a struggle for me, but it was a struggle to have to face what happened to my best friend Natasha, something I’ll never forget.”
“There hasn’t been a night that passed in three and a half years that I didn’t wake up in a night terror reliving what happened. To know that this person can never walk on the street with me again is extremely comforting. I’m really looking forward to my life going forward.”
Natasha McShane’s grandmother was at home when the verdict was read out. She told the Chicago Tribune newspaper that she heard about the verdict through a phone call from her daughter. “I’m just relieved that it’s all over. Total relief that it’s all over. It’s not over, of course, for Natasha. She got a sentence too.”
Speaking to Newry Times, local DUP MLA William Irwin said, “The guilty verdict will bring some sense of closure on the aspect of seeing justice served against the evil individual who carried out this brutal attack.
“The real issue though for the family and for Natasha is the fact that she is still unable to walk unaided or even talk such was the extent of her injuries. I felt the Cook County Attorney summed up the feelings when she said that Natasha, instead of being welcomed to the city with an open heart, was instead confronted with a baseball bat.
Irwin added, “That is the sickening reality of the situation and my thoughts are with Natasha and her family as they continue to support her.”
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