Former Oak Park resident Heather Mack, convicted at the age of 19 of killing her mother and stuffing the body in a suitcase while in Bali, is set to be released three years early from Bali’s Kerobokan Prison for good behavior, according to reports from multiple news sources, including the Daily Mail and Agence France-Presse company.
Mack’s United States-based attorney Vanessa Favia confirmed to NBC 5 her client will be released in October, while the Daily Mail reported the Indonesian government intends to deport Mack once she is released.
“Heather’s doing really well. She’s nervous and excited about the prospect of getting out very soon,” Favia said in the NBC5 story.
She had received a prison term of 10 years in 2015 for the murder of her mother, 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack, of Oak Park, while vacationing in Indonesia with Mack’s 19-year-old boyfriend Tommy Schaefer. Schaefer, also of Oak Park, was given an 18-year sentence, while Mack, pregnant at the time, received a lesser charge of assisting in the murder.
The life of von Wiese-Mack ended gruesomely in 2014, with Schaefer beating her to death with a fruit bowl during an argument at the luxury St. Regis resort in Bali. Her body was stuffed in a suitcase, which Mack and Schaefer abandoned in a taxi before fleeing to another part of Bali where they were subsequently arrested by police.
Mack gave birth to her daughter Stella while in prison. Stella, now 5, spent the first two years of her life in prison with her mother before moving in with a foster family. Favia told NBC 5 Mack is considering returning to Chicago with Stella but has not made any final decisions.
“Being a mother has changed her drastically,” Favia said in the newscast. “I think she’s going to come back with a new lease on life and definitely [be] a better person all around.”
In a statement to NBC5, Bill Wiese, Mack’s uncle and the brother of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, said that he has not had any personal contact with Mack and does not wish to. Weise called Mack’s original 10-year sentence a “travesty of justice,” but his family hopes Stella “can be raised in a safe and loving environment.”