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Guilty verdict offers sense of relief for McShane family

October 28, 2013

The family of Silverbridge woman, Natasha McShane, say they feel a sense of relief and justice after the man who attacked her and left her for dead on a Chicago street more than three years ago was unanimously convicted of the crime.

A statement written by Natasha’s brother, Conor, and read outside Cook County Criminal Court after the verdict was announced on Thursday, said his sister’s life has changed forever and the attack brought “great sadness and sorrow to our home”.

At the conclusion of a trial lasting five days, the jury took little over three hours to find Heriberto Viramontes (34) guilty on all counts against him, which included attempted first-degree murder of Natasha and her friend Stacy Jurich, aggravated battery and armed robbery.

Natasha had been a 23-year-old student attending the University of Illinois at the time of the assault in April 2010.  She and Stacy Jurich were walking home from a night out when they were set upon by Viramontes who battered them repeatedly on the head with a baseball bat before robbing them of their possessions.  Although badly injured, Stacy was able to summon help, something for which the McShane family say they are forever grateful, as without her friend’s help, Natasha would not have survived.

Natasha was the most severely injured of the pair and has been left with significant brain damage, unable to talk or walk unaided.  Her family say her life now is “a daily struggle” and the whole family has been left devastated.

In the statement delivered by the state attorney, the McShane family expressed their sincere appreciation to everyone who has helped them “in this long struggle for justice” and said they are pleased and relieved at the verdict.

“[The verdict] provides us with a sense of justice and a sense of great relief.  This crime against my sister has changed her life forever and it has had a devastating impact on our entire family.  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,” it read.

Extending appreciation to the medical staff who treated Natasha, the state attorney’s office, legal team and police, the family said first and foremost their deepest appreciation is for Stacy.

“Our love and our thoughts and our prayers go to Stacy because of her bravery Natasha is alive today,” they said, thanking also the people of Chicago for their “overwhelming support and generosity”.

Sentencing has been reserved in the case though Viramontes faces between six and 120 years in prison.  He will be sentenced at a later date.

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