BUCKTOWN — Just one day shy of the third anniversary of a brutal beating of two women in a Bucktown viaduct, a judge set a trial date of Sept. 9 for the man and woman charged in the attack.
News of the trial date for Heriberto Viramontes and Marcy Cruz was reported Monday by the Chicago Tribune.
It’s been a long road to a jury trial for Heriberto Viramontes, 34, and Marcy Cruz, 28, charged in the brutal attack on Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich early in the morning of April 23, 2010.
Prosecutors said that Cruz waited in a van as Viramontes allegedly used a baseball bat to beat McShane and her friend Jurich from behind as they walked in a viaduct at 1800 N. Damen Ave. The women were heading home after a night on the town.
The savage assault left the then 23-year-old Irish exchange student McShane in a coma and suffering brain damage.
Today, McShane lives with her family in the rural community of Silverbridge in Northern Ireland.
“[She] still cannot speak beyond mumbles and she cannot walk or take care of herself," said Joe McShane, a Chicago musician and family friend who speaks with the woman's father, Liam, on a monthly basis.
The woman’s father recently told him that "nothing much has changed."
"She's made slight improvements but they're so small nobody would notice. Bottom line, the gal, her life is totally destroyed," Joe McShane said.
Brian Burrow, a local bar manager who's kept in contact with the Jurich family, said Stacy Jurich "wants to move on, talk about happier things."
Viramontes and Cruz were originally charged only with armed robbery and aggravated battery but prosecutors later added attempted murder charges. Each faces 25 felony counts, including robbery and a litany of lesser charges.
Marcy Cruz's mother, Adelaida Perez, 54, who lives in Humboldt Park, said she is "very nervous" about the trial but will "accept whatever punishment is given" to her daughter.
"I feel bad because I am a mother and I put myself in those girls' moms' shoes. They are suffering, this is terrible. I do not agree with what happened. ... I wish I could wake up out of this nightmare."
Joe Kopera, a court advocate who's attended many of the hearings but was unable to make it Monday, said that he was surprised that a trial date was given four months in advance.
"It's great [they are going to trial] but dates are still subject to change. I'm grateful that they have a date but that could be a target date," Kopera said.
In January, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) said the long time that's passed since the crime has caused the brutal event to slip off many people's radars.
"Most people think because [Viramontes and Cruz] are in jail, that justice has been served and the case is closed," Waguespack said.
Waguespack has been following the status hearings with help from an assistant, Kerri Stojack, and Kopera.
"It's been frustrating to see that as crime is spiking we are sitting here years later and these two haven't gotten to trial,” the alderman said. “I would like to see law come down on them for the crime that they committed."