‘I heard my head being hit,’ bat-beating victim tells court
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter October 16, 2013 1:28PM
Stacy Jurich leaves the George N. Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago Wednesday afternoon after testifying in the beating of herself and friend Natasha McShane. Natasha McShane was beaten with a baseball bat while walking with her friend Stacy Jurich in the Bucktown neighborhood. | Michael R. Schmidt-For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 18, 2013 7:44AM
Stacy Jurich never saw the baseball bat that came crashing down into the back of her head.
Her ears picked up only a thud.
Then came the unbearable soreness and a “metallic” taste in her mouth.
“I heard my head being hit and I felt excruciating pain and sort of lost my equilibrium,” Jurich tearfully testified Wednesday at the start of Heriberto Viramontes’ jury trial.
Viramontes, 34, is accused of viciously beating and robbing Jurich and Irish exchange student Natasha McShane in an attack that captured international attention and left McShane unable to speak and walk.
Jurich and McShane were on their way to Jurich’s Bucktown home after a night of celebratory drinking and dancing when Viramontes pounced in a viaduct in the 1800 block of North Damen early on April 23, 2010, Cook County prosecutors said.
Jurich fell forward after the initial whack but caught herself when she saw the flash of the silver bat come down on McShane.
McShane never got up.
And Jurich was hit again.
“Stupid bitch,” the man wielding the bat allegedly hissed to Jurich before snatching her purse and fleeing south on Damen.
Jurich, now 27, admitted she “never saw a face” and may have initially described her attacker as a “black man.” Viramontes is Hispanic.
Jurich said all of her attention was directed on the crumpled body of McShane, who was wearing her favorite boots and a leopard-print shirt she had taken out for that special night on the town.
“She was not moving on the ground,” Jurich said. “The blood started coming out of her head.”
Jurich continued to weep as Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Ogarek showed her a photo of the crime scene and the red jacket Jurich said she took off and placed under McShane’s bleeding head before officers arrived.
As she described to police what had happened, Jurich told them that she felt like she was going to “pass out.”
Later, as she recovered in the hospital after her skull was “cracked open,” Jurich said she was determined to see her dear friend.
“I managed to pull my IVs and crawl down the hall until I found her room and that’s when saw what happened to her,” Jurich said.
Although Jurich is now engaged, living in Lincoln Park and working at JPMorgan Chase, she still struggles with the aftermath and suffers pounding headaches.
“I don’t drive,” she told jurors, detailing her limited peripheral vision as the result of the assault.
When Ogarek asked her why she doesn’t get behind the wheel, Jurich said she’s still scared.