Armed robbery is often associated with images of a masked person holding up a bank with a gun. However, in the real world, the crime of armed robbery does not require a firearm, nor does it require that a person steal or attempt to steal from a financial institution. Armed robbery is often accompanied by other felony crimes, such as assault, battery, and sometimes even attempted murder. A Chicago man is currently on trial and facing a conviction on such charges for a beating of two young women in 2010.
According to chicago.cbslocal.com, one of the victims of a brutal baseball bat attack in 2010 took the stand in the trial against the alleged attacker this week. 33-year-old Chicago resident Heriberto Viramontes is currently charged with attempted murder, armed robbery, and aggravated battery for the beating of two women, Stacy Jurich and Natasha McShane. The women were in their early twenties when the beating occurred.
According to reports, Ms. Jurich and Ms. McShane were friends who both attended the University of Illinois at its Chicago campus. Ms. McShane was an exchange student who was studying at the University from Northern Ireland. The two young women went out for a night on the town in the spring of 2010, and were returning home when they were attacked under a viaduct. The women were attacked from behind and one of them was beaten until she was unconscious.
Nbcchicago.com reports that the attacker robbed the women and then fled the scene. Ms. McShane never recovered from the attack and is unable to walk without a walker. Video during the trial documented Ms. McShane’s current struggles with daily life, including her inability to drink from a cup without assistance.
Mr. Viramontes’ defense team asserts that Mr. Viramontes was not the one who attacked Ms. Jurich and Ms. McShane. However, Mr. Viramontes’ fingerprints were found on Ms. McShane’s belongings and he was caught on video using her credit card. Additionally, Mr. Viramontes ex-girlfriend, Marcy Cruz may be called to the stand by prosecutors. Ms. Cruz already pleaded guilty to the charges against her for her connection to the crime, and she was sentenced to 11 years in prison for each of the two counts.
As this case demonstrates, a person can be charged for armed robbery even if he or she did not commit the robbery with a firearm. Under Illinois criminal law 720 ILCS 5/18-2, the crime of armed robbery applies to robbery committed both with a firearm and without one. A person need only commit a robbery while armed with a dangerous weapon in order to be found guilty of armed robbery. Armed robbery without a firearm by itself is a Class X felony, which means that 15 years must be added to the term of imprisonment that is imposed by the court.
Armed robbery, attempted murder, and aggravated battery are all serious felony crimes that may result in a lengthy term of imprisonment and other heavy penalties and consequences. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact an attorney at Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.