It was a homecoming of types when Heather L. Mack arrived at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago on Wednesday right after having served extra than six a long time in an Indonesian jail immediately after the discovery of her mother’s physique stuffed in a suitcase at a Bali resort.
Ms. Mack, 26, was immediately taken into custody by federal agents.
Later on on Wednesday, she appeared in a federal courtroom to facial area U.S. prices in the 2014 killing of her mom, Sheila A. Von Wiese, 62, the wealthy widow of a Chicago composer. The prices — just one rely of conspiracy to destroy in a international country, 1 count of conspiracy to commit international murder of a U.S. nationwide and a single depend of obstruction — stem from a 2016 indictment returned by a grand jury though Ms. Mack was imprisoned in Indonesia.
Federal prosecutors stated the environment for the murder was a tropical resort in Bali, exactly where Ms. Mack, then in her teens, traveled with her mother in August 2014. A week into the vacation, Ms. Mack organized for her boyfriend at the time, Tommy E. Schaefer, to fly to Bali, and they later on exchanged text messages in which they planned Ms. Von Wiese’s murder, in accordance to the 2016 indictment, which was introduced by the U.S. attorney’s business office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Mr. Schaefer had also texted his cousin Robert Ryan Justin Bibbs about how to get away with the criminal offense, prosecutors explained. Mr. Bibbs was sentenced in 2017 to 9 many years in jail right after he pleaded guilty to a cost of conspiracy to dedicate overseas murder of a U.S. national.
When Mr. Bibbs pleaded responsible, he told prosecutors that Ms. Mack had made available her boyfriend about $50,000 to get rid of her mom right after she unsuccessful to kill Ms. Von Wiese herself. Mr. Bibbs advised his cousin about unique strategies to eliminate Ms. Von Wiese, which include drowning and suffocation, prosecutors claimed.
Mr. Schaefer, who was tried using and convicted in Indonesia, killed Ms. Von Wiese in a lodge space whilst Ms. Mack was current, the indictment alleges. They then stuffed the entire body into a suitcase and loaded it into the trunk of a taxi before fleeing the vacation resort, prosecutors said in 2017.
An Indonesian courtroom sentenced Ms. Mack to 10 decades in prison for aiding in the murder, in accordance to the U.S. attorney’s place of work. She was launched early for superior conduct and deported, her law firm, Brian Claypool, stated. Mr. Schaefer, now 28, is serving the rest of an 18-yr sentence in an Indonesian prison.
Though the motive for the murder was unclear, Mr. Schaefer expected to acquire hundreds of thousands of pounds soon after the killing from Ms. Von Wiese’s estate, of which Mr. Bibbs envisioned to acquire a lower, Mr. Bibbs advised prosecutors when he pleaded guilty.
Ms. Von Wiese’s husband and Ms. Mack’s father, James L. Mack, was a properly-identified composer who died in 2006, in accordance to The Chicago Tribune. The loved ones was rich and normally took international journeys. Ms. Mack and her mother had a difficult relationship, and they generally received into fights, she explained to news.com.au in a 2019 interview from prison in Indonesia.
On Wednesday, Mr. Claypool called the prices towards Ms. Mack “ridiculous” and mentioned this was a circumstance of double jeopardy that they would contest.
The U.S. attorney’s business office for the Northern District of Illinois did not return cell phone calls trying to get remark on Wednesday.
There is also the query of who will have custody of Ms. Mack and Mr. Schaefer’s 6-year-old daughter, Stella, with whom Ms. Mack was pregnant at the time of the murder. An Indonesian foster mother named Oshar experienced raised the child even though Ms. Mack was in prison, Mr. Claypool claimed. The woman is now in the short term custody of an unknown individual in Chicago who is familiar to the loved ones, but Mr. Schaefer’s mom needs to have custody, Mr. Claypool mentioned.
Ms. Mack’s case echoes the ordeal of Amanda Knox, an American who was arrested in 2007 on a analyze abroad journey in Italy and served jail time in the death of her roommate. The situation attracted extreme media interest for several years on equally sides of the Atlantic as men and women debated Ms. Knox’s feasible role in the murder. An Italian courtroom acquitted her in 2015.