A DISPUTE over DNA evidence on a baseball bat allegedly used in the brutal attack on Irish student Natasha McShane in Chicago is delaying the start of the trial of those accused of her attempted murder.
Natasha, now 26, was viciously attacked and robbed on a Chicago street three years ago and continues to struggle with basic functions after sustaining serious head injuries.
A battle over DNA evidence taken from the baseball allegedly used in the attack is largely to blame for the delays to the trial.
Meanwhile, her family have branded the delay in the search for justice as "disgraceful".
Heriberto Viramontes (34) is accused of perpetrating the assault and faces a first degree attempted murder charge, among other alleged offences.
His co-accused Marcy Cruz is facing the same 25 charges ranging from attempted murder to credit card misuse.
Both have been in jail in lieu of $1m (€773,000) bail each since their arrest shortly after the April 2010 attack on Natasha and her friend, Stacy Jurich. The next hearing is today at the Cook County Criminal Court building.
Natasha, from south Armagh, was in Chicago as an exchange student when the attack happened. The two young women were attacked from behind by a man with a baseball bat. They were then robbed.