Convicted Murderer Is Fighting For Custody Of Child In Prison

Right now, the toddler is being raised in prison.

By Jaime Lutz

Heather Mack—an American woman who, with her former boyfriend, was found guilty in the 2014 murder of her mother at an Indonesian luxury resort—is raising her 23-month-old daughter in prison, and fighting to keep custody of her baby, People magazine reported.

Mack, 21, along with her ex Tommy Schaefer, was convicted in the 2014 murder of Mack’s mother, in which the couple hid the victim’s body by stuffing her into a suitcase. During Mack’s trial, she was pregnant with her daughter by Schaefer.

Indonesian law allows children to stay with their mothers in prison until they turn two years old, which Mack’s daughter Stella Schaefer will do on Mar. 17.

In advance of that date, Kia Walker, the girl’s paternal grandmother, has filed for Stella’s guardianship at her home in Chicago, in opposition to Mack’s wish that her daughter be raised by a local Indonesian family so that she could continue to visit with her until her release from prison. Mack was sentenced to prison for 10 years.

"My granddaughter deserves an equal opportunity to a better start at life, and she deserves to know her grandmother," Walker said in a phone interview with The Chicago Tribune. "I believe it is in her best interest that she's brought back to America.”

Mack is the daughter of acclaimed composer James L. Mack, who died of a pulmonary embolism in 2006. With the death of her mother, Mack was set to gain a $1.56 million trust, which her maternal uncle is fighting in court, arguing that Mack’s role in the killing of her mother means she should not get the fund.

Mack had argued in court that Schaefer was responsible for beating her mother to death during an argument with a metal bowl, and that she had hidden in the bathroom while this had gone on. Last week, someone posted three videos of her contradicting this testimony and taking sole responsibility for the murder to YouTube. 

Her attorney claimed that these videos were written by Schaefer and Mack had only recorded them under duress.

[Image: Getty Images]

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