- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - A man who beat an Irish exchange student and another young woman with a baseball bat during a robbery as they walked home in Chicago was sentenced Thursday to 90 years in prison.

Before Heriberto Viramontes was sentenced, a prosecutor displayed the bat that the 34-year-old used to hit exchange student Natasha McShane and fellow college student Stacy Jurich. The April 23, 2010, attack left McShane with severe brain damage.

Judge Jorge Alonso said hatred and greed motivated Viramontes, the Chicago Sun-Times (https://bit.ly/1vNWY1I ) reported.

Earlier, a tearful Jurich told the courtroom that a joyous evening out with her good friend suddenly became a nightmare. She said her life and dreams were “altered by this man.”

McShane’s mother, Sheila McShane, said her daughter, who still has great difficulty walking and talking, has been sentenced to a life of “pain, misery and unfulfillment.”

“Why Natasha? Why us?” she asked while speaking in court.

Before Alonso announced the sentence, Viramontes asked for mercy, saying he could never fathom the pain he caused.

Prosecutors say Viramontes and his girlfriend were driving through Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood when he decided to rob someone, grabbing a bat and jumping out of the car. He later returned with two purses.

At Viramontes‘ 2013 trial, Jurich described how she and McShane were beaten and left unconscious on the street.

The evidence against Viramontes included a video of him using Jurich’s credit card later that evening. He was convicted of attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery.

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