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Jury selected in baseball bat beating trial

CHICAGO (MCT) — A chemist, a retired engineer and a young man who said his uncle was a Chicago police officer killed in the line of duty have been picked as jurors to decide the fate of the man charged with beating an exchange student from Northern Ireland and her friend unconscious under a Bucktown neighborhood viaduct in 2010.

Opening statements are scheduled Wednesday morning in the trial of Heriberto Viramontes, 34, on 25 counts that include armed robbery and attempted murder for the baseball-bat attack on Natasha McShane and Stacy Jurich.

The attack left McShane, now 27 and living with family in Northern Ireland, unable to walk or utter more than a few words. Jurich, who is expected to testify during the trial, was also left with cognitive impairments.

McShane's family has traveled across the Atlantic to attend the expected two-week trial. Her mother, Sheila, is likely to testify about what her daughter was like before and after the attack.

Jurors, many of whom said they had seen media coverage of the case, will see video of McShane in physical therapy and attempting to drink from a cup. Marcy Cruz, who was in a getaway van during the attack, has pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against Viramontes.

Among the potential jurors called was Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, who said she knows Judge Jorge Alonso, who is presiding over the trial. She was not picked and was released with other prospective jurors who spent about nine hours at the courthouse.

(c)2013 the Chicago Tribune
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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