UCD student’s attacker convicted

A man who attacked and left UCD student Natasha McShane severely brain-damaged could face up to 120 years in prison.

Postgraduate student McShane (27) was studying in the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2010 when she and friend Stacy Jurich were attacked by Heriberto Viramonte with a baseball bat.

Mr Viramonte (34) was last week found guilty on two counts of attempting to murder the young friends as they walked home from a night out in the city in April 2010. As a result of the attack, McShane is unable to walk without assistance and has limited speech. An accomplice in the attack was jailed for 22 years last July after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted murder.

Friends and family of the young Armagh student recently attended a mass at the Irish American Heritage Centre where the guilty verdict from the trial was celebrated. All present were asked to pray for McShane and her family as she continues her rehab.

McShane’s heartbroken mother Sheila also stated her relief on initially hearing the verdict, saying “justice has finally been done”.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, McShane’s brother Conor thanked the prosecutors and people of Chicago for their overwhelming “support and generosity”. He added that his family “will never give up hope that she will make a full recovery”.

UCD Students’ Union has also voiced their support for McShane and their aversion of the tragic attack.

“UCDSU welcomes the court verdict, which found Heriberto Viramontes guilty. UCDSU abhors these vicious attacks which are a blight in society. We wish Nathasha all the best as she continues to receive physical therapy in her effort to recuperate.”

Karla Chubb

Image Credit: Wikimediacommons.org

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