December 5, 2021

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Back in Chicago, Lady Is Charged in Killing of Mom on Indonesian Trip

It was a homecoming of kinds when Heather L. Mack arrived at O’Hare Intercontinental Airport in Chicago on Wednesday soon after owning served more than 6 years in an Indonesian jail just after the discovery of her mother’s entire body stuffed in a suitcase at a Bali vacation resort.

Ms. Mack, 26, was promptly taken into custody by federal agents.

Later on on Wednesday, she appeared in a federal courtroom to experience U.S. costs in the 2014 killing of her mother, Sheila A. Von Wiese, 62, the wealthy widow of a Chicago composer. The expenses — 1 rely of conspiracy to kill in a international place, a single rely of conspiracy to dedicate international murder of a U.S. countrywide and a single rely of obstruction — stem from a 2016 indictment returned by a grand jury though Ms. Mack was imprisoned in Indonesia.

Federal prosecutors mentioned the setting for the murder was a tropical resort in Bali, where Ms. Mack, then in her teenagers, traveled with her mom in August 2014. A week into the vacation, Ms. Mack arranged 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 produced by the U.S. attorney’s business for the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Schaefer had also texted his cousin Robert Ryan Justin Bibbs about how to get away with the crime, prosecutors explained. Mr. Bibbs was sentenced in 2017 to nine yrs in prison just after he pleaded responsible to a charge of conspiracy to commit international murder of a U.S. countrywide.

When Mr. Bibbs pleaded guilty, he explained to prosecutors that Ms. Mack experienced provided her boyfriend about $50,000 to destroy her mother just after she failed to kill Ms. Von Wiese herself. Mr. Bibbs advised his cousin about different strategies to eliminate Ms. Von Wiese, together with drowning and suffocation, prosecutors reported.

Mr. Schaefer, who was experimented with and convicted in Indonesia, killed Ms. Von Wiese in a resort place even though Ms. Mack was present, the indictment alleges. They then stuffed the human body into a suitcase and loaded it into the trunk of a taxi ahead of fleeing the resort, prosecutors mentioned in 2017.

An Indonesian court sentenced Ms. Mack to 10 years in prison for aiding in the murder, in accordance to the U.S. attorney’s workplace. She was launched early for fantastic actions and deported, her attorney, Brian Claypool, claimed. Mr. Schaefer, now 28, is serving the relaxation of an 18-calendar year sentence in an Indonesian jail.

While the motive for the murder was unclear, Mr. Schaefer predicted to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars after the killing from Ms. Von Wiese’s estate, of which Mr. Bibbs anticipated to acquire a lower, Mr. Bibbs explained to prosecutors when he pleaded responsible.

Ms. Von Wiese’s partner and Ms. Mack’s father, James L. Mack, was a very well-recognized composer who died in 2006, in accordance to The Chicago Tribune. The loved ones was rich and often took worldwide trips. Ms. Mack and her mom had a hard marriage, and they generally acquired into fights, she explained to news.com.au in a 2019 job interview from prison in Indonesia.

On Wednesday, Mr. Claypool known as the prices versus Ms. Mack “ridiculous” and mentioned this was a circumstance of double jeopardy that they would contest.

The U.S. attorney’s office environment for the Northern District of Illinois did not return cellphone phone calls trying to get remark on Wednesday.

There is also the problem of who will have custody of Ms. Mack and Mr. Schaefer’s 6-yr-outdated daughter, Stella, with whom Ms. Mack was expecting at the time of the murder. An Indonesian foster mom named Oshar had raised the boy or girl when Ms. Mack was in prison, Mr. Claypool said. The woman is now in the short term custody of an unidentified person in Chicago who is common to the family members, but Mr. Schaefer’s mom wants to have custody, Mr. Claypool stated.

Ms. Mack’s situation echoes the ordeal of Amanda Knox, an American who was arrested in 2007 on a research abroad journey in Italy and served jail time in the demise of her roommate. The circumstance captivated powerful media attention for yrs on both of those sides of the Atlantic as individuals debated Ms. Knox’s possible job in the murder. An Italian court acquitted her in 2015.