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Crime: US woman in Bali 'suitcase murder' freed from jail

Indonesia deporting Chicago woman who helped kill mother

  Indonesia deporting Chicago woman who helped kill mother DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — An American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali and stuff the body into a suitcase was tightly escorted to the airport Tuesday for her deportation to the United States. Heather Mack, 26, was released from prison on Friday after serving seven years and two months of a 10-year sentence. Her then-boyfriend, who was also convicted in the killing, was sentenced to 18 years and remains in prison. The badly beaten body of her mother, wealthy Chicago socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack, was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in August 2014.

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

Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, escorted by Indonesian immigration officers to Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) © Provided by Associated Press Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, escorted by Indonesian immigration officers to Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

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

'Suitcase Killer' Heather Mack Arrested Upon Return to U.S., Charged with Conspiracy to Kill Mom

  'Suitcase Killer' Heather Mack Arrested Upon Return to U.S., Charged with Conspiracy to Kill Mom Heather Mack, who helped her boyfriend kill her mother in 2014 while vacationing with her in Bali, returned home to Chicago after spending nearly seven years in prisonIn 2017, while Mack, 26, and her now-former boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, were serving out their prison sentences in Indonesia, they were charged in U.S. Federal Court in Chicago with conspiring to kill Mack's mother, 62-year-old Chicago socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack, at an upscale hotel in Bali in 2014. The pair then stuffed the victim's body into a suitcase they left in a taxi, earning Mack the monicker the "Suitcase Killer" in the media.

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

Police said the hotel’s CCTV showed the couple had argued with the girl’s mother in the lobby of the hotel shortly before the killing, which is alleged to have taken place inside a room in the hotel.

An Indonesian court sentenced Mack to 10 years in prison for assisting Schaefer in her mother’s murder and stuffing the body in a suitcase. Schaefer received an 18-year sentence.

Their daughter, Stella Schaefer, was born shortly before her parents were convicted in 2015. Under Indonesian law, she was allowed to live with her mother in her cell in Kerobokan female prison until she turned 2 years old, and Mack gave custody of her young daughter to an Australian woman until her release from prison.

Chicago Woman Convicted of Brutally Murdering Mother, Stuffing Body in Suitcase in Bali Is Released from Prison

  Chicago Woman Convicted of Brutally Murdering Mother, Stuffing Body in Suitcase in Bali Is Released from Prison A Chicago woman, famously convicted of helping her boyfriend brutally kill her socialite mother in her luxury Bali hotel room before hiding her body in a suitcase and attempting to flee, was released from prison Friday after serving. Heather Mack stepped out of Indonesia’s Kerobokan prison a free woman after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence for the 2014 murder of her mother, 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack. The post Chicago WomanA Chicago woman, famously convicted of helping her boyfriend brutally kill her socialite mother in her luxury Bali hotel room before hiding her body in a suitcase and attempting to flee, was released from prison Friday after serving.

Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) © Provided by Associated Press Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Mack and her mother had a troubled relationship, with officials confirming police had been called to the family’s Oak Park, Illinois, home dozens of times.

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

Mack, now 26, was escorted through a crush of reporters outside the Kerobokan Female Prison in Denpasar, the Bali provincial capital, into a waiting car that took her to an immigration office near Bali’s international airport on Friday morning.

Bali 'suitcase killer' released from prison

  Bali 'suitcase killer' released from prison An American woman convicted with her boyfriend of killing her mother and stuffing the body in a suitcase at a luxury Bali hotel was freed from prison on Friday. In the notorious case, then teenager Heather Mack was handed a 10-year jail term in 2015 while her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer got 18 years for the murder of Chicago socialite Sheila von Wiese Mack on the Indonesian holiday island. Schaefer beat the 62-year-old victim to death with a fruit bowl during a heated argument at the five-star St. Regis resort, before the couple abandoned the suitcase containing the battered body in a taxi and fled.

Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., left, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) © Provided by Associated Press Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., left, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

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

A few of friends of Mack were seen welcoming her outside the prison, including Oshar Putu Melody Suartama, an Australian woman married to a Balinese man, who has been raising Stella.

Mack's sentence was shortened by a total of 34 months due to reductions that are often granted to prisoners on major holidays because of their good conduct, including a six-month remission of sentence awarded during Indonesia's Independence Day in August, said Lili, the prison chief warden, who goes by a single name.

US woman in Bali 'suitcase murder' freed from jail

  US woman in Bali 'suitcase murder' freed from jail DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) — An American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. The badly beaten body of a wealthy Chicago socialite, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, was found inside the trunk of a taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in August 2014. Heather Mack, whoThe badly beaten body of a wealthy Chicago socialite, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, was found inside the trunk of a taxi parked at the upscale St. Regis Bali Resort in August 2014.

Indonesian immigration officers escorted Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, sits in a car in Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States.(AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) © Provided by Associated Press Indonesian immigration officers escorted Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, sits in a car in Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States.(AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Lili said that Mack was entitled to the sentence reduction under Indonesian law for good behavior and Mack also got involved in activities arranged by correctional officers, such as organizing fashion shows featuring designs by inmates, and teaching them to dance.

She described that Mack was a bit shocked, sad and frightened when she was about to leave, “but we all cheered her on and reassured her that everything would be all right.”

“Heather used to say that prison has changed her life a lot, she loves Indonesia and the people who have surrounded her all these years,” Lili said, “She will miss us so much and so do we here.”

Mack will have to stay for a few days at the Immigration Detention Center while waiting for flight tickets and travel documents to be ready, said Amrizal, chief of the Bali immigration office for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.

Bali 'suitcase murder' accomplice released early

  Bali 'suitcase murder' accomplice released early Heather Mack had been in jail for helping to kill her mother and stuffing her body into a suitcase.Heather Mack had been found guilty of assisting in the high-profile 2014 murder which saw her mother's body stuffed into a suitcase.

Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., right, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) © Provided by Associated Press Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., right, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Amrizal, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, said his office was coordinating with the U.S. consulate in Bali on repatriating the mother and child.

Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., right, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati) © Provided by Associated Press Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., right, is escorted by Indonesian immigration officers at Immigration detention center in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. The American woman convicted of helping to kill her mother on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Mack has not seen her daughter for about 20 months because authorities halted prison visits during the coronavirus pandemic, but Indonesian law allows for their reunion now that Mack has been released. Her attorney, Yulius Benyamin Seran, said earlier that Mack had asked for the girl to remain with her foster family to avoid media attention.

FILE - In this April 21, 2015 file photo, Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, is mobbed by reporters as he arrives in the courtroom for her sentencing hearing at a district court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Mack, an American woman convicted of killing her mother on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday, Oct. 29, after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this April 21, 2015 file photo, Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., center, is mobbed by reporters as he arrives in the courtroom for her sentencing hearing at a district court in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. Mack, an American woman convicted of killing her mother on Indonesia’s tourist island of Bali in 2014 walked free from prison Friday, Oct. 29, after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence and will be deported to the United States. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati, File)

However, Amrizal said Indonesian regulations would not allow that. “Minors must be accompanied by their mothers when their mothers are deported, there is no policy that allows a mother to leave her underage child here."

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Karmini reported from Jakarta, Indonesia.

EXPLAINER: Expert: Overseas conviction no bar to US charges .
The filing of U.S. charges against a Chicago woman convicted of killing her wealthy mother during a luxury vacation in Bali has raised questions about how someone who has spent time in an overseas prison can be hauled into an American court on similar charges. Heather Mack, 26, was arrested Wednesday on her return to Chicago, after spending more than seven years in an Indonesian prison for murder. She's now charged in the U.S. with conspiring with a former boyfriend to kill her socialite mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in 2014 on the island of Bali, where they stuffed her body in a suitcase and left it in a taxi outside a hotel. The U.S.

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