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Baseball bat beating victim had fractured skull, bleeding on brain: surgeon

Stacy Jurich leaves George N. LeightCriminal Courts Building Chicago Wednesday afternoafter testifying beating herself friend NatashMcShane. NatashMcShane was beaten with

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

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Updated: October 17, 2013 9:16PM

While the bloodied Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane were rushed to the hospital by paramedics, the reputed Spanish Cobra accused of robbing and brutally beating them with a baseball bat started a spending spree at a gas station, a store clerk testified Thursday.

Mirza Baig didn’t know Heriberto Viramontes by name but he identified him in pictures as being the man captured on surveillance cameras using credit cards at the gas station at Augusta and Western early on April 23, 2010.

The credit cards that jurors saw were just some of the items he and his getaway driver, Marcy Cruz, took from the victim’s purses after Viramontes beat them under a Bucktown viaduct, Cook County prosecutors said.

During cross-examination by Assistant Public Defender Chandra Smith, Baig admitted that he didn’t see any blood on Viramontes that morning. Viramontes’ attorneys maintain that if he had hit Jurich and McShane, he would have had blood stains all over his clothes.

About the same time Viramontes was at the gas station — 4 a.m.— Jurich and McShane were fighting for their lives, according to earlier court testimony in Viramontes’ trial Thursday.

Trauma surgeon Dr. Marius Katilius said Jurich was “doing relatively OK” for someone who had a traumatic brain injury.

McShane was more seriously injured and needed more “procedures and monitoring” at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, the doctor said.

The exchange student from Northern Ireland had to be intubated, Katilius said. McShane had blood in the “nooks and crannies” of her brain and in the area surrounding her brain, she said.

McShane also had a stone in the back of her throat. Katilius didn’t explain how the stone got there, but Jurich, now 27, testified Wednesday that McShane slammed down hard onto the pavement after Viramontes allegedly hit her head with a bat in the 1800 block of North Damen.

McShane, who cannot talk and can walk only with assistance, has remained at home in Northern Ireland while her parents and other relatives attended the trial in Judge Jorge Alonso’s courtroom.

One of those relatives softly sobbed and shook her head Thursday when an evidence technician handled a bloody jacket and earrings that were recovered from the crime scene.

Viramontes, 34, is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery.


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