Bali Suitcase Killer Case: In 2015, Heather Mack was handed a 10-year jail term while her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer got 18 years for the murder of Sheila von Wiese Mack.
On Friday, an American woman and her boyfriend were freed from prison after being convicted of murdering her mother and dumping her body in a suitcase at a fancy Bali hotel.
In the notable case, then-teenager Heather Mack was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2015, while her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years for the murder of Chicago socialite Sheila von Wiese Mack on the Indonesian holiday island.
During a heated argument at the five-star St. Regis resort, Schaefer beat the 62-year-old victim to death with a fruit bowl, before the couple abandoned the suitcase containing the bruised body in a taxi and escaped.
Mack, who was pregnant at the time of the crime, was found guilty of helping in the murder on a lesser charge.
Mack, who is now 25 years old, was released from Bali’s Kerobokan prison on Friday, according to the head of the prison’s female division, who said Mack had been granted early release for good behavior.
“Heather is completely free,” said prison head Lili, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.
“When she was released, she was a bit shocked and emotional. She hesitated and was scared, but we cheered her up.”
Mack, who was 19 at the time of her conviction and was wearing sunglasses and an orange prison vest, was handed over to immigration officials to await deportation back to the United States.
The immigration office in Bali declined to comment on her case or confirm when she would be flown back to the United States.
It was unclear whether Mack’s now six-year-old daughter, who was raised in a Bali foster home, would be deported at the same time.
Mack’s lawyer initially told AFP that she did not want her daughter deported and “hounded by the (US) media.”
Mack, who is now proficient in Indonesian and Balinese, has only had video contact with her daughter since the pandemic, according to a prison official on Friday.
The brutal murder in 2014 shook the usually calm holiday island, with details of the horrible crime surfacing during the widely viewed trial.
The court heard how von Wiese Mack’s badly beaten body was discovered in a taxi outside the ritzy hotel where she and her daughter had been staying with Schaefer.
The pair had fled to another area of Bali, where they were caught by police.
Schaefer, who remained in prison, confessed to the murder but said he was defending himself during an argument with von Wiese Mack, who was upset that her daughter was pregnant.
Prosecutors claimed Schaefer “blindly hit” von Wiese Mack with the fruit bowl in a fury after she shouted a racial slur at Schaefer, who is Black.
The trial heard that Mack hid in a bathroom during the attack but later assisted Schaefer in putting the body into a suitcase.