US Couple Arrested For Murdering Woman, Stuffing Body In Suitcase
On Tuesday, an Indonesian court indicted a U.S. couple for murdering a woman and stuffing the body in a suitcase.
Tommy Schaefer, accused of beating socialite Sheila von Wiese-Mack to death in Bali on August 12, was found guilty for his crime by the Denpasar District Court. He was subsequently sentenced to 18 years in jail.
Heather Mack, Schaefer’s girlfriend and von Wiese-Mack’s daughter, was charged for acting as an accomplice in the crime. She was given a sentence of 10 years.
According to Yahoo, Mack’s sentence was relatively shorter because she had recently given birth.
The verdict said, “Her newborn baby badly needs a mother’s love and breastfeeding.”
The couple had stuffed von Wiese-Mack’s body inside a suitcase, which they then kept in a waiting taxi outside the resort. They told the driver they would be back soon. However, after not returning for a lengthy amount of time, the driver informed the hotel staff who, upon inspecting the bag, discovered the body.
The couple were found in a nearby hotel the next morning.
Von Wiese-Mack’s body had been wrapped in hotel bedding inside the bag. Forensic investigation concluded she had been beaten with blunt force that fractured her facial bones and suffocated her.
Schaefer said his girlfriend’s mother was strangling him in a hotel room in Bali, and that he acted in self-defense.
He said in the court, “She squeezed my neck for about 20 to 30 seconds. I couldn’t breathe. I had blood going to my head and my eyes were so watery.”
He said he tried to reach for a nearby bowl “before she could.”
“I couldn’t see for a moment because my eyes were so watery and I was distraught, I was in a state of mind, I had no idea what was happening. I was almost about to black out. And I grabbed it and I started swinging,” he added.
According to Reuters, in a separate statement after the verdict was declared, he said, “Although I do take full responsibility for my actions, I am not a murderer.”
The verdict came after a four-month-long investigation was carried out by the Bali police and the FBI. A CCTV footage of the couple talking to the driver was also produced as evidence.
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