Heather Mack released from Bali prison after serving sentence for murder of her mother


DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) – An American woman convicted of helping kill her mother on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali in 2014 was released from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to United States.

The severely beaten body of wealthy Chicago socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, was found in the trunk of a parked taxi at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in August 2014.

Heather Mack, who was almost 19 and a few weeks pregnant, and her 21-year-old boyfriend Tommy Schaefer were arrested a day later after being found at a hotel about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the St. Regis.

Police said hotel CCTV showed the couple had an argument with the girl’s mother in the hotel lobby shortly before the murder, which allegedly took place in a room in the hotel. hotel.

An Indonesian court sentenced Mack to 10 years in prison for aiding Schaefer in the murder of his mother and stuffing the body into a suitcase. Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Their daughter, Stella Schaefer, was born shortly before her parents were sentenced in 2015. Under Indonesian law, she was allowed to live with her mother in her cell at Kerobokan Women’s Prison until the age of 2, and Mack has entrusted the care of her cubs. daughter to an Australian until her release from prison.

Mack and his mother had a rocky relationship, with officials confirming that police had been called to the family home in Oak Park, Ill., Dozens of times.

In 2016 Robert Bibbs, a cousin of Schaefer, pleaded guilty to helping plan the murder in exchange for $ 50,000 Mack was to inherit, and was sentenced the following year to nine years in prison.

Mack, now 26, was escorted through a crowd of reporters outside Kerobokan Women’s Prison in Denpasar, the provincial capital of Bali, in a waiting car that took her to an office immigration near Bali International Airport on Friday morning.

Wearing a mask, sunglasses and an orange vest from an immigration deportee, she made no comment to reporters except to say, “Oh my God… you’re crazy! behind the car window.

A few of Mack’s friends were seen welcoming him outside the prison, including Oshar Putu Melody Suartama, an Australian married to a Balinese who raised Stella.

Mack’s sentence was shortened by a total of 34 months due to reductions that are often given to prisoners on important holidays due to their good behavior, including a six-month remission granted on the feast of Indonesian independence in August, said Lili, the director of the prison. director, which has only one name.

She said Mack would be placed in a detention room at the immigration office while waiting for a flight to the United States.

Upon his release, Mack can, under Indonesian law, be reunited with his daughter, who is now 6 years old.

But her Indonesian lawyer, Yulius Benyamin Seran, said earlier that Mack, who has not seen the little girl for about 20 months because authorities halted prison visits during the coronavirus pandemic, asked Indonesian authorities to let the girl stay with her foster family to avoid media attention.

Under Indonesian law, a deported foreigner will be refused entry to Indonesia for a maximum of six months.

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