Suspect’s ID found in van linked to assault on Natasha McShane
Court told detectives found state identification and baseball bat in grey Chevy van
Natasha McShane, whose mother, Shelia, gave evidence about how her daughter’s life has changed since she was attacked.
A wallet containing Heriberto Viramontes’ state identification was found in the back of a van detectives believed was linked to the beatings of Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich, a Chicago court heard yesterday.
Nearby was a baseball bat with grey duct tape, said the area commander of detectives who led the investigation into the Bucktown beatings.
Detectives had traced mobile phone records to an apartment block and were also working on descriptions of suspects, a male and female, both light-skinned Hispanics, the Cook County Criminal court heard.
Ms Cruz was stopped and arrested as she stepped in to a grey Chevy van parked outside the apartment block.
Inside were the ID and baseball bat, the weapon allegedly used to strike the skulls of Ms Jurich and Ms McShane. An image was shown in court.
Late that same day, April 26th, detectives, led by Mr Salemme himself, went to Mr Viramontes’ address, arrested him and took him in for questioning.
Clothes were taken away for Ms Cruz is a co-defendant who has pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted murder and agreed to a 22-year prison sentence.
It is alleged she drove the van on the night of the attack and will testify against Mr Viramontes next week.
Under cross-examination, Mr Salemme was questioned why he, with 230 detectives under him, personally led the investigation, including knocking on doors.
He agreed it was a “high profile” case with lots of press attention but said he often goes out on the ground with his detectives.
Mr Salemme also revealed 20 detectives worked “round the clock” in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
Mr Viramontes (34) is charged with two counts of attempted murder and 23 other charges, from misuse of a credit card to aggravated battery.
The trial began on Wednesday with opening arguments from the prosecution and defence.
Stacy Jurich was first to take the stand to describe the attack and its aftermath.
Ms McShane’s mother Shelia then gave testimony, telling the jury her now severely disabled daughter’s, and the family’s, life has changed utterly since the attack.
Ms McShane, who was 23 at the time, has been left with cognitive impairments and unable to walk or speak.
Mrs McShanewas led crying from the court as a brain surgeon detailed the life-threatening damage suffered by her daughter in an early morning assault in the city.
Surgeon Leonard Kranzler carried out an emergency operation on Ms McShane, removing part of her skull and brain to relieve pressure caused by swelling.
She would have died had the operation not been carried out, the court heard.
Mrs McShane stayed out for just a few minutes before returning to hear Dr Kranzler detail how the brain was damaged on the left side, an area that controls speech, understanding, some vision functions and movement on the right side of the body.
Ms McShane remains severely impaired in all these functions.
Dr Kranzler told the court that “considerable force” was used to cause the skull fracture which caused her injuries.
It was blunt force trauma that could have been caused by a blow from a baseball bat, the surgeon said.