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"Suitcase Killer" Heather Mack Expected To Plead Guilty in U.S. Court to Murdering Her Mother

Heather Mack served seven years of a 10-year sentence in Indonesia for the murder of her mother, Sheila von Weise-Mack, in 2015. She was deported to the U.S., where she faces new charges in the case.

By Elisabeth Ford
'Suitcase Killer' Arrested In U.S. Upon Return From Bali

After spending seven years in an Indonesian prison for the killing of her socialite mother while on vacation in Bali back in 2014, Heather Mack is expected plead guilty on new charges in the United States involving the murder.

Mack, 27, was released early from the Indonesian prison in which she was carrying out her 10-year sentence, only to be arrested by federal agents upon her arrival at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport after being deported from Indonesia, NBC Chicago reported. She was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice, along with her former boyfriend Tommy Schaefer.

Mack was charged with accessory to her mother’s murder back in 2015 in Indonesia, according to The Associated Press.

RELATED: 'Suitcase Killer' Heather Mack Remains Behind Bars After Waiving Detention Hearing

The body of Sheila von Weise-Mack was found stuffed in a suitcase outside the upscale St. Regis Bali hotel, where she was staying with her daughter on vacation. Mack, 19 and pregnant at the time, and boyfriend Schaefer bludgeoned the 62-year-old mother to death with a metal fruit bowl, proceeding to cram her body into a suitcase and leave it in a taxi outside their hotel, the AP reported. Mack was dubbed "The Suitcase Killer."

Heather Mack cries during her verdict hearing

Schaefer testified back in 2015 saying that he and Weise-Mack had gotten into an argument the night he arrived in the hotel lobby about Mack’s teenage pregnancy, the AP reported.

Mack was sentenced to a decade in prison for her role in her mother’s murder. Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years and is still serving his sentence in Indonesia.

Federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Illinois believe the couple “conspired with each other to commit at a place outside the United States, namely, in the Republic of Indonesia, an act that would constitute the offense of murder,” per count one of their indictment.

The pair was also indicted on another count of conspiring to kill Mack’s mother and one count of corruptly destroying, mutilating and concealing evidence “by forcing the body of Sheila A. Von Weise into a suitcase after she had been killed and removing the suitcase from the place of the murder; and by removing linens and items of clothing worn during the killing.”

Mack had originally pleaded not guilty to the new U.S. charges, but confirmed the reports of her change of plea in an interview with the New York Post on Tuesday.

“We were offered a good plea. First, it was 15 to 35 [years]; now they are saying zero to 25 years, including time served,” she told The Post.

In her explanation for deciding to take the plea deal Mack noted, “I have served nearly 10 years in prison. I felt that I had done my time, so I was gung-ho for trial. Now, after sitting for so long, I know what I have to do,” she told The Post.

Heather Mack holds her baby daughter

“I’m going to be a felon in America, and that is fine. I understand from [the US government’s] perspective that, if I don’t plead guilty and they didn’t indict me, I wouldn’t be a felon. I could become a police officer and work for the government … I could carry a firearm on the street,” she added.

Mack’s attorney Michael Leonard was also included in an interview with The Post, telling the paper the severity of her sentence is unpredictable.

“The hope is that the judge will seriously consider the time she has already served and all the underlying circumstances of her life and her relationship with her mom,” he told The Post.

According to NBC Chicago, Mack’s change-of-plea hearing is set for June 15, before her Aug. 1 trial date.

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