Mack Jailed For Sadistic Murder Of Her Mother

Heather Mack
Body in a suitcase teen Heather Mack has been sentenced to 10 years for the 'sadistic' murder of her mother in a case dubbed the 'body in the suitcase' killing.

Her sentence came just minutes after her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, was jailed for 18 years at a court in Denpasar, Bali today. 

Mack, 19, was found guilty of helping her Schaefer stuff the body of her mother into a suitcase.

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Jailed: Tommy Schaefer has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for the 'sadistic murder' of his girlfriend's mother in the 'body in the suitcase' killing

Jailed: Tommy Schaefer has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for the 'sadistic murder' of his girlfriend's mother in the 'body in the suitcase' killing

All smiles: Heather Mack holds her baby daughter ahead of her sentencing for the murder of her own mother

All smiles: Heather Mack holds her baby daughter ahead of her sentencing for the murder of her own mother

Mother: Heather Mack, pictured with her daughter Stella, was all smiles as she arrived at a Bali court today, where she is expected to hear her sentence

Mother: Heather Mack, pictured with her daughter Stella, was all smiles as she arrived at a Bali court today, where she is expected to hear her sentence

The prosecution had originally asked for Mack to be imprisoned in Bali’s Kerobokan Jail for 15 years

It had been widely speculated that because of Schaefer's age and the fact he is the father of a month-old baby, he would be given a lesser sentence than the prosecution had demanded.

But Judge Made Suweda, after reading out the background to the high-profile murder case, showed no mercy. 

He said the violence of the crime - in which Schaefer was described as battering Sheila von Wiese-Mack to death - had shocked Bali by its brutality.

Judge Suweda said: 'Taking into account the 340 chapter of criminal code and other related laws, (panel) declared that the defendant Tommy Schaefer has been legally and convincingly guilty of committing premeditated murder.

'Therefore the defendant is sentenced to 18 years in jail.'

 

He described Schaefer's actions as sadistic, but said his politeness and remorse during the trial saved him from the heavier sentence.

'Although I do take full responsibility for my actions, I am not a murderer,' Scahefer said after hearing the verdict.

It was not immediately clear if the defense planned to appeal. 

The fact the judge and his colleagues decided not to reduce the 18 years demanded by the prosecution suggested they would also show no mercy to Mack, 19.

Mack was found guilty of helping her boyfriend put her mother's body in the case before it was loaded into a taxi at the upmarket St Regis Hotel in Bali.

As before, she has handed her baby, Stella Schaefer - named after her boyfriend - to a carer as she prepared to enter the court.

Her defence team has pleaded for a lesser sentence than the 15 years demanded by the prosecution.

Her lawyers told the court that her young age, the fact that she has a one-month-old baby and the claim that she had no part in the actual death of her mother should see her receiving a reduction.

 
Awaiting sentencing: Mack claimed she had not been party to her mother’s death and had only assisted her boyfriend in stuffing the body into the suitcase after she had panicked

Awaiting sentencing: Mack claimed she had not been party to her mother’s death and had only assisted her boyfriend in stuffing the body into the suitcase after she had panicked

The baby, Stella, was brought to the court building again today by  Mack, who said the child was healthy

The baby, Stella, was brought to the court building again today by Mack, who said the child was healthy

Earlier, Mack was all smiles as she arrived at a Bali court. Accompanied by her boyfriend, Mack showed no nervousness at Denpasar District Court.

In fact, she was more concerned about the way she looked in photographs published the previous week.

‘Why did you take photos of me yawning?’ she asked photographers from her holding cell at the court as Tommy Schaefer looked on from his cell across the courtyard.

‘I don’t know why you would do a thing like that, taking photos of me when I was yawning.'

Asked if she was concerned that the judges were expected to hand down long prison sentences for her and Schaefer - who are both from the Chicago area - she said she was ready for whatever they decided.

'Anything... I'm prepared for anything,' she said.

There has been speculation in legal circles that because of their young ages and the fact they have a month-old baby, the couple will receive lower jail terms 

There has been speculation in legal circles that because of their young ages and the fact they have a month-old baby, the couple will receive lower jail terms 

Different rules: In Bali, children are permitted to live in prison with their mothers for up to two years

Different rules: In Bali, children are permitted to live in prison with their mothers for up to two years

In the final hours before Mack learned of her fate, she told People magazine that tending to her newborn daughter keeps her from dwelling on what the coming day may bring.

She is allowed to keep her baby in prison with her for two years, and Mack said she couldn't bare to give her up.

'I don't want to separate my family,' she said. 'It's too painful to think about having to be separated from my angel.' 

The prosecution had originally asked for Mack to be imprisoned in Bali’s Kerobokan Jail for 15 years and for Schaefer to be sentenced to 18 years.

The decision by a three-judge panel could still be death by firing squad.  

Behind bars: Mack claimed she had not been party to her mother’s death and had only assisted her boyfriend in stuffing the body into the suitcase

Behind bars: Mack claimed she had not been party to her mother’s death and had only assisted her boyfriend in stuffing the body into the suitcase

Accompanied by her boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer,  Mack, 19, showed no nervousness about the fate which awaited her in the Denpasar District Court.

Accompanied by her boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer, Mack, 19, showed no nervousness about the fate which awaited her in the Denpasar District Court.

When they were first arrested last August following the discovery of the battered body of Heather’s 62-year-old mother in a suitcase that had been placed in the boot of a taxi, they could have faced a mandatory death sentence for premeditated murder.

But Mack claimed she had not been party to her mother’s death and had only assisted her boyfriend in stuffing the body into the suitcase after she panicked.

For his part, Schaefer argued that he had hit Mrs Mack with the metal part of a fruit bowl after she grabbed him by the throat during an argument in her room at Bali’s upmarket St Regis Hotel.

He claimed there had always been dissent between Mrs Mack and himself because she objected to his relationship with her daughter - particularly after she learned her daughter was pregnant with his child.

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By Shedrack Mittens 04/21/2015 07:08:00
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