On Tuesday an Indonesian court sentenced 19-year-old Heather Mack to 10 year of prison for what has come to be known as the body in the suitcase killing. Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer, whom she helped conduct the murder, was sentenced to18 years of jail at the Denpasar District Court. Mack and Schaefer were both from Chicago. They were trialed separately by the same prosecutors and judges.
The body of 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack was discovered in a suitcase inside a taxi, at the St. Regis Bali Resort. When she was arrested Heather Mack said that her mother was killed by an armed gang who had kidnapped all of them. She explained that she managed to escape together with her boyfriend.
However the surveillance video proved that the mother and the daughter have had an argument just a few hours before Sheila von Wiese-Mack was murdered. According to the autopsy the victim received a blunt blow in the nose which caused her death though asphyxiation. In addition there were other broken bones in her face and head. Some wounds on her hands mad the Indonesian authorities believe that he tried to defend herself.
Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer have a child together. The baby is just one month old. People speculated that since Schaefer was so young and moreover was the father of the baby he would receive a milder sentence than the prosecutors had initially demanded.
Judge Suweda declared:
“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.”
He also said that his actions were sadistic. The remorse and the politeness which he exhibited in the trial rescued him from a heavier sentence, according to the judge. Schaefer declared that he takes full responsibility of his actions but he does not consider himself a murderer. Tommy Schaefer will be 39 years old when he gets out of prison. This means his daughter will be 10 years old by that time.
Regarding Heather Mack, the prosecutors initially asked for 15 years of jail. She declared that she did not take part in the murder, but only helped her boyfriend to stuff the body inside the suitcase. When asked if she was concerned with the fact that the judges could give her a longer prison sentence she answered that she was prepared for anything. However when she heard the sentence her smile was wept off her face and she started crying. Mack will be allowed to keep her daughter with her in prison.
Image Source: Metro