Marcy Cruz (28), the woman who drove the getaway car on the night Irish exchange student Natasha McShane and her friend Stacy Jurich were beaten, has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 22-years in prison.
Cruz pleaded guilty in the Chicago court on Tuesday and has agreed to testify against the man who allegedly carried out the attack, Heriberto Viramontes (33). His trial is scheduled for September 9.
In exchange for cooperating with the court Cruz will avoid being charged with first-degree murder if the most severely injured party, McShane, dies, according to the court records reported by the Chicago Tribune. She must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.
McShane, who was 23 years old when she was attacked in Bucktown, Chicago, now lives in Silverbridge, County Armagh, with her family. Having being beaten with a baseball, mainly to the head and neck, she is now unable to walk or speak.
The Armagh native and her friend Stacy Jurich had been out celebrating on April 23, 2010, when the attack took place. While walking from a local bar to Jurich’s home the pair were set upon by their assailant. Following the attack Jurich managed to flag down a taxi and raise the alarm before passing out.
While Jurich has made a full recovery, McShane was left with swelling to the brain. After an initial rally McShane’s recovery slowed when she contracted an infection following surgery in Belfast, County Antrim.
The young women had been celebrating McShane’s success in prolonging her internship. The University College of Dublin student had been studying at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.
Cruz provided a signed statement giving the most detailed account of what took place that night, to date. The Tribune reports that Cruz left her two children with her boyfriend and went out to a nightclub with Viramontes. They ended up having sex and smoking marijuana in Cruz’s van.
While driving to Bucktown Viramontes spoke about robbing people. He said, “Look at all these rich white bitches” just before she parked near Milwaukee Avenue.
Viramontes grabbed a baseball bat and left. He returned five minutes later with two purses. Cruz said she knew “something bad had happened.”
Cruz and Viramontes went through the purses. Viramontes kept the credit cards and Cruz took some makeup and a bottle of Dior perfume.
Shortly after they picked up Viramontes’ girlfriend. Then Viramontes went into an apartment building and smoked crack.
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