The Slatest

United States Couple Convicted in Bali Suitcase Murder of Mother

Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer with their child aboard a prison bus after their verdicts were handed down on Tuesday.

Darren Whiteside/Reuters

21-year-old American Tommy Schaefer has been convicted of killing Sheila von Wiese-Mack—the mother of his 19-year-old girlfriend, Heather Mack—on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2014. Heather Mack has been found guilty of acting as an accessory to murder. The couple’s crime was discovered when von Wiese-Mack’s body was found stuffed into a suitcase that had been abandoned in a taxi at the luxury hotel where all three were staying.

Schaefer, who claimed he acted in self-defense, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and Mack to 10. Mack’s newborn baby girl will be allowed to stay with her for two years, after which she can nominate someone to take custody.

Von Wiese-Mack and Heather Mack lived in the Chicago area, where police were frequently called to their home on suspicion that Mack had physically attacked her mother. Mack was found guilty of battery after one such incident in 2011. Her father, a respected jazz and classical musician, died in 2006.