Defendant Doesn't Take Stand in Bat Beating Trial

Heriberto Viramontes is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed robbery for beating Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Heriberto Veramontes' lawyers tried to prove their client didn't beat and rob Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich in April 2010.

    The man accused of robbing and beating two Irish exchange students in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood three years ago did not take the stand in his own defense Wednesday and his legal team quickly rested their case.

    Closing arguments were expected to begin Thursday.

    In their brief defense, attorneys for Heriberto Viramontes tried to prove their client did not attack Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich underneath a viaduct in April 2010.

    Emotional Testimony in Bat Beating Trial

    [CHI] Emotional Testimony in Bat Beating Trial
    The woman who plead guilty to driving the getaway car in the vicious attack took the stand on Tuesday. She told the court she waited in the car while defendant Heriberto Viramontes went looking for someone to rob.

    First on the stand for the defense was 18-year Chicago Police veteran Officer Elise Middleton, who interviewed Jurich right after the attack.

    Officer Middleton testified that after talking to Jurich, who had been struck with the bat at least twice, police came up with a description -- a black male, standing five feet, seven inches to five feet, nine inches tall with a medium build.

    Suspect's Ex-Girlfriend Testifies in Bat Beating Trial

    [CHI] Suspect's Ex-Girlfriend Testifies in Bat Beating Trial
    Kira Lundgren testifies about her interaction with Heriberto Viramontes in the early morning hours after the beatin and robbery of two women in Bucktown. Christian Farr reports.

    Prosecutors asked about Jurich's mental state after the attack and Officer Middleton said "she was dazed" and it was "hard for her focus."

    The second witness, another Chicago Police officer, testified she spoke with two black males who fit Jurich's description -- both had small amounts of blood on them.

    The defense also tried to paint Marcy Cruz, Viramontes' ex-girlfriend as a liar, saying she changed her statement to police about whether Viramontes took a bat from her van to beat Jurich and McShane.

    Cruz testified on Monday as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She told jurors the bat used in the attack belonged to the father of her children. She said Viramontes grabbed it before getting out of the van with intentions of robbing McShane and Jurich.

    Prosecutors pointed out Wednesday that Cruz admitted to police she saw Viramontes take the bat and put it up his sleeve.

    On Tuesday, jurors heard recorded jailhouse calls in which Viramontes admitted to his girlfriend that he committed the violent mugging. Kira Lundgren testified that Viramontes was agitated the night of the attack and wouldn't let her read media accounts of it.

    Jurors last week Friday saw photos of the bat prosecutors said was used in the attack. And a day earlier, Jurich herself was on the stand describing the ordeal.

    Viramontes, 37, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed robbery. His defense team contends another man attacked the women, adding that Cruz implicated her former boyfriend because she will "say anything at any time, as long as it benefits her."


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