Jury Views Photos of Bat Believed to Have Been Used in Bucktown Beating

A Cook County jury on Friday viewed photos of the wooden baseball bat prosecutors believe was used in the April 2010 beating and robbery of two women in Bucktown.

The bat was found with silver duct tape wrapped around the handle inside a gray van belonging to Marcy Cruz, a co-defendant of Heriberto Viramontes, who was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed robbery for beating Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane, both students at University of Illinois Chicago.

Cruz, who was with Viramontes during the attack, is expected to testify after she pleaded guilty this summer to two attempted murder charges and was sentenced to 11 years for each count.

Latoya Paige, who used a credit card belonging to Stacy Jurich to pay off her Comcast bill of more than $500, also testified Friday stating she received the credit card from her aunt and destroyed after she was questioned by police.

It remained unclear how Paige’s aunt ended up with the card, but prosecutors say Viramontes robbed both women of their belongings.

Prosecutors said Viramontes' fingerprints are on McShane's belongings and they have video of him using Jurich's credit card later that evening at a gas station.

Earlier this week, Jurich, 27, testified that she and Natasha McShane had just finished a celebratory night of dinner, drinks and dancing when they were attacked while walking under a viaduct.

"I was hit from behind halfway through the viaduct," Jurich said. "I heard my head bang ... I was in extreme pain."

Jurich said she did not pass out after being struck.

"I saw Natasha being hit on the head ... with a bat ... she went down immediately. She lifelessly fell into the sidewalk," Jurich said on the stand.

Prosecutors showed a video that showed the state of McShane's condition, who was confined to a wheelchair for more than a year after she returned home, but now uses a walker. The video also shows McShane having a tough time trying to drink a cup of water.

Dr. Leonard Kranzler, the neurosurgeon who treated both girls at Illnois Masonic Medical Center, testified Friday that McShane suffered traumatic bruising and bleeding to her brain.

Kranzler said he had to remove a large portion of her skull and part of her temporal love to relieve some of the internal pressure. He said the wounds were consistent with blunt force trauma and that her injuries were "traumatic"

During opening statements Wednesday morning, Viramontes' public defender, David Dunn, said his client is a victim of mistaken identity.

"To this day Miss Jurich has not seen any lineup and been able to say 'Yes or no. That's the person who was under the viaduct,'" Dunn said.

He also said there is no DNA evidence linking Viramontes to the crimes.

Contact Us