Chicago Man Says Bali Victim Tried to Strangle Him, Threatened Unborn Baby | NBC Chicago
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Chicago Man Says Bali Victim Tried to Strangle Him, Threatened Unborn Baby

Tommy Schaefer says Sheila von Wiese-Mack insulted him using a racial slur and described her daughter as a prostitute who liked a black man

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    A Chicago man charged with murder overseas opened up in a Bali court Thursday. NBC Chicago's Chris Coffey reports. (Published Thursday, March 12, 2015)

    A Chicago man charged with murder overseas opened up in a Bali court Thursday. Tommy Schaefer, 21, said he attacked his girlfriend's mother after she threatened to kill the couple's unborn baby.

    Schaefer and Heather Mack, 19, also from Chicago, are charged with murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack.

    The defendants are painting the victim as a disapproving mother who didn't agree with the couple's relationship. Schaefer testified that von Wiese-Mack became angry upon discovering Heather was pregnant. Schaefer said von Wiese-Mack used a racial slur and described her daughter as a prostitute.

    Schaefer admitted that Mack asked him to bring a metal bowl, just in case von Wiese-Mack reacted strongly to her daughter's pregnancy.

    According to Schaefer, the situation got heated when von Wiese-Mack asked her daughter for an abortion or to kill the unborn baby. He said that led to a quarrel in which von Wiese-Mack tried hard to strangle him for about 30 seconds.

    “I was angry, I took the fruit bowl and hit her,” Schaefer said.

    Schaefer demonstrated how he hit von Wiese-Mack. A prosecutor also displayed the metal bowl handles alleged to be the murder weapon.

    The victim's body was found stuffed in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi last August.

    Schaefer and Mack are being tried separately. But they are often handcuffed together and seen in the same temporary holding cell.

    Mack maintains her innocence. She told her Chicago lawyer she may be scheduled to give birth by C-section Friday.

    A man claiming to be Schaefer called NBC 5 Investigates and said “I’m a good person and I’m a normal guy. Life happens in ways that you don’t expect. Withhold judgment on me until the judges make their decision.”

    The couple could face the death penalty if convicted.

    Complete Coverage: Bali Suitcase Murder

    04/21/15: Couple Found Guilty 

    04/14/15: Lawyers Seek Leniency for  Couple

    04/09/15: Prosecutors Insist Murder Was Planned

    03/31/15: Prosecutors Seek 18-Year Sentences

    03/27/15: Baby Stella Sick With Jaundice

    03/25/15: Baby Stella Rushed to Hospital: Report

    03/20/15: Mack "Ecstatic" to be a Mom, Lawyer Says

    03/19/15: Emails Show Concern Months Before Bali Slaying

    03/18/15: Mack's Baby Could Stay Behind Bars

    03/17/15: Heather Mack Gives Birth

    03/12/15: Schaefer Says von Wiese-Mack Attacked Him, Threatened Baby

    03/11/15: Mack Says Schaefer Killed Her Mother

    02/27/15: Teen Charged in Bali Murder is Suicidal, Attorney Says

    02/26/15: Bell Boy, Police Testify in Tommy Schaefer Trial

    02/06/15: Heather Mack Hospitalized

    02/04/15: Heather Mack: "I Loved My Mom"

    02/02/15: Trial of Chicago Couple Charged in Bali Murder Ordered to Proceed

    01/20/15: Judge Approves Release of $150K From Trust Fund

    01/16/15: Murder Suspect Sues Slain Mother's Estate to Pay For Defense

    01/14/15: Bali Suitcase Murder Trial Begins in Indonesia

    10/03/14: Suspect in Bali Suitcase Murder Says Slur Sparked Anger

    09/23/14: Lawyer: Unborn Child of Bali Murder Suspect is "Well-Formed"

    09/22/14: Lawyer Refutes Reports That Bali Murder Suspect Confessed

    09/19/14: Chicago Suspect Confesses in Bali Killing, Police Say

    08/27/14: Mother of Bali Murder Suspect Raises Money for Legal Defense

    08/26/14: Will of Chicago Woman Killed in Bali Filed in Court

    08/21/14: Police Say Disagreement Preceded Bali Suitcase Death

    08/20/14: Report: Chicago Woman Slain in Bali Received Over $800K

    08/20/14: Attorney: Couple Held in Bali Death Under Suicide Watch

    08/19/14: Police Reports Show History of Oak Park Teen Attacking Mom

    08/18/14: Pregnant Bali Murder Suspect Alleges Sexual Assault in Jail

    08/18/14: Body of Mom Slain in Bali En Route to U.S.

    08/16/14: Autopsy: Chicago Woman Killed in Bali Was Hit by "Blunt Object"

    08/16/14: Bali Murder Suspects Refuse to Cooperate, Police Say

    08/15/14: Teen Charged in Bali Murder May Be Pregnant

    08/15/14: Daughter, Boyfriend Charged With Murder in Bali Suitcase Killing

    08/14/14: Pair Held in Suitcase Death Have Had Psychiatric Examinations

    08/14/14: Bali Murder Suspect Hires Chicago Attorney

    08/13/14: Bali Murder Suspects Refuse to Cooperate: Police

    08/13/14: Chicago Tourist Killed, Stuffed in Suitcase in Indonesia



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