American couple jailed for suitcase murder in Bali

Denpasar – A court in Bali on Tuesday sentenced a young couple from the United States to 18 and 10 years in prison for the grisly murder of the woman’s mother.

Tommy Schaefer, 21 and his girlfriend Heather Mack, 19, were guilty beyond reasonable doubt of killing Sheila von Wiese-Mack on Bali in August, the presiding judge at the Denpasar district court Made Suweda said.

Suweda said the victim was opposed to her daughter’s relationship with Schaefer and called him “nigger”.

He said Schaefer’s action was “sadistic” but he escaped the maximum death penalty for premeditated because he was still young, remorseful and had no criminal record.

The court said Mack was given a more lenient sentence because she was remorseful and had just recently given birth to a baby girl.

Prosecutors had sought 18 years in prison for Schaefer and 15 years for Mack.

The body of Wiese-Mack, 62, was found in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi outside a luxury Bali hotel.

Police said Wiese-Mack died in her hotel room in Bali, where the three had been on holiday, after being hit with a glass ashtray and fruit bowl.

Schaefer’s lawyer said the killing was not premeditated, arguing that he attacked Wiese-Mack because she was threatening to kill the baby her daughter was having.

Mack was charged with being an accessory to the murder.

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