Bali prosecutors say Chicago-area couple plotted to kill her mother

BALI, Indonesia — Prosecutors insisted Thursday they have shown enough evidence that a Chicago-area couple deliberately plotted to kill the woman’s mother while vacationing on Bali and should be found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to jail.

The presiding judge set another hearing next Tuesday for defense lawyers to convey their last pleas on behalf of defendants Tommy Schaefer and Heather Mack before the judges deliver their verdict.

Schaefer, 21, and Mack, 19, who both attended Oak Park-River Forest High School, are being tried at the Denpasar District Court on charges of premeditated murder, which could carry the death penalty if they are convicted.

Chief prosecutor Eddy Arta Wijaya said Thursday that their evidence detailed how the couple planned to kill Sheila von Wiese-Mack, including testimonies from witnesses and messages between the defendants.

The prosecutors want Schaefer to be sentenced to 18 years in prison and Mack to receive a 15-year sentence.

The defense lawyers have said there is no evidence of premeditated murder. They argued that the defendants deserve light sentences if they are convicted since they are still young and regret their deeds.

“The defendant has clearly provided assistance” for the killing of her mother, the prosecutor said of Mack. She has been accused of helping stuff her mother’s body in the suitcase where it was found last August.

Prosecutors said they decided to be lenient to Mack because she repeatedly expressed remorse and has a newborn baby.

In Schaefer case, Wijaya said hotel security cameras showed clearly that Schaefer went to the women’s hotel room with a hidden metal fruit bowl, which was the weapon used to strike the victim.

The evidence shows the sentencing demand for Schaefer is appropriate, Wijaya said. “We stick to our conclusion that the defendant has committed a premeditated murder.”

Schaefer testified that von Wiese-Mack was angry when she learned about her daughter’s pregnancy and strangled him before he struck her with the bowl.

<small><strong>Heather Mack fans her baby daughter in a holding cell at Denpasar’s district court in Bali, Indonesia. | Firdia Lisnawati/Associated Press</strong></small>

Heather Mack fans her baby daughter in a holding cell at Denpasar’s district court in Bali, Indonesia. | Firdia Lisnawati/Associated Press

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