An American woman charged with premeditated murder in the death of her mother on Indonesia\’s Bali island told a court Wednesday that her boyfriend killed her mother in anger after she threatened to kill their unborn baby.
Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, are being tried separately by Denpasar District Court.
They are charged with murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack last August at the St. Regis hotel on Bali and face possible death by firing squad if found guilty. Von Wiese-Mack\’s badly beaten body was found in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi at the hotel.
In her first questioning in court Wednesday, Mack, who is eight months\’ pregnant, said Schaefer beat her mother with a metal soup bowl after von Wiese-Mack made the threat in an argument. Von Wiese-Mack objected to their relationship.
"The blow was not so hard … and my mother was still resisting," Mack said. "I asked Tommy to stop and then I ran into the bathroom."
Mack said when she left the bathroom, she found Schaefer on the bed trying to give her artificial respiration.
"Tommy said my mother was not breathing," she said. Mack said she also tried to revive her but it didn\’t work.
She said they panicked and thought about either calling the police or taking the body in a suitcase to the U.S. Consulate. She did not explain why they did not do either one.
"We panicked and didn\’t know what to do," she said.
Mack answered "no" when the judge asked whether she wished her mother dead.
According to the indictment, Schaefer battered von Wiese-Mack with the metal handle of a bowl following an argument in her room over the hotel bill.
It says Mack helped stuff her mother\’s body into the suitcase by sitting on it to enable Schaefer to close it. They then placed the suitcase in the trunk of a taxi and told the driver they were going to check out of the hotel and would return, but never did, it says.
Prosecutors said Mack had suggested to Schaefer while they were in America that he hire someone for $50,000 to kill her mother.
Mack and her mother had arrived first in Bali and were staying in a room on the third floor of the hotel, while Schaefer arrived later and was staying on the sixth floor.