A Chicago jury found Heriberto Viramontes guilty on all counts for savagely beating two young women in Bucktown with a baseball bat in the 2010 attack that left one of victims unable to walk or even speak.
It took the jury three and a half hours to convict the 34-year-old Viramontes on 10 counts felony counts that include two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of armed robbery and six counts of aggravated battery, ABC Chicago reports.
Viramontes faces a maximum of 120 years in jail, a possible sentence that seemed to give comfort to victim Stacy Jurich, now 25, and the family of her best friend, Natasha McShane, now 27. McShane's family flew in from Ireland for the trial and said previously that back home, Natasha is not even aware of the proceedings.
During the trial, prosecutors showed footage of the woman struggling through basic movements like drinking from a cup. Her family must provide round-the-clock care after Viramontes smashed her skull with a Rawlings baseball bat under a Bucktown viaduct in April 2010.
Jurich, who still suffers pounding headaches, told reporters she can still hear the sickening crack of McShane's skull when Viramontes beat them before stealing their purses for drug money.
"There hasn't been a night that's passed in the last three years where I didn't wake up in a night terror reliving what happened," Jurich told reporters after the verdict was read Thursday evening. "To know that this person can never walk the street with me again is extremely comforting."
Viramontes did not take the stand in his own trial, though his accomplice Marcy Cruz testified against him in exchange for a 22-year prison sentence. Cruz was in Viramontes' van when she said he announced his plan to find some women in the neighborhood to rob. As the Sun-Times reports, she and Viramontes were also spotted on security cameras using the women's credit cards after the attack.
Perhaps most damning of all were phone calls Viramontes to Cruz from jail, despite the fact that inmates are warned all calls are recorded. The Tribune reports Viramontes essentially admitted guilt in the attack, though he reportedly said he never meant to kill the women when he started beating them.
DNAinfo Chicago reports Viramontes could be sentenced as early as Nov. 10, when he heads to court next. His public defender said his family was "devastated" and says they plan to appeal.
Meanwhile, his mother, sister and other family were angry they were not informed a verdict had been reached. They entered the courtroom after the verdict was read.