Lawyers Seek Lenience For Chicago Couple in Bali Murder Trials - NBC Chicago

Lawyers Seek Lenience For Chicago Couple in Bali Murder Trials

Presiding Judge Made Suweda adjourned the hearing until next Tuesday, when the judges are to deliver their verdict

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    Lawyers Seek Lenience For Chicago Couple in Bali Murder Trials
    AP
    Heather Mack, right, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, both of Chicago, Ill., stand behind bars during their trials in Bali, Indonesia, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. The couple is charged with murdering Mack's mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62.

    Lawyers for an American couple on trial in Indonesia argued Tuesday that prosecutors improperly charged them with premeditated murder in the death of the woman's mother.

    They urged the three-judge panel to give the lightest possible sentences to Heather Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer. They are being tried separately, with the same judges and prosecutors, at Denpasar District Court.

    Schaefer, 21, and Mack, 19, both from Chicago, are charged with deliberately murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, whose badly beaten body was found last August in a suitcase in the trunk of a taxi outside an upscale hotel on Bali island.

    Prosecutors have asked the judges to find the defendants guilty of premeditated murder, which carries a maximum penalty of death, but have sought 15- and 18-year jail terms respectively for Mack and Schaefer.

    In Mack's trial Tuesday, her lawyer Ary Soenardi argued that short messages cited by the prosecutors as well as court testimonies and the defendants' confessions did not clearly prove that Mack had committed premeditated murder.

    "In our opinion, the prosecutors failed to provide clear evidence of the defendant's assistance in the case," Soenardi said. "Therefore, the primary charge of premeditated murder should be ruled out."

    He expressed hope that the panel would hand down a "fair and humane verdict."

    Schaefer's lawyer, Iswahyudi Edy, asked the judges to consider the situation and condition of the defendant at the time of the incident.

    "Premeditated murder could not be proven legally and convincingly," Edy said. "The defendant, therefore, should not be punished as sought by the prosecutors."

    Prosecutors insisted last week that their evidence showed the couple deliberately plotted to kill von Wiese-Mack while vacationing on Bali, based on the testimony of witnesses and messages between the defendants.

    Bali Murder Suspect Heather Mack Ecstatic to be New Mom, Lawyer Says

    [CHI] Bali Murder Suspect Heather Mack Ecstatic to be New Mom, Lawyer Says
    The Chicago teenager currently on trial for murder in Bali, Indonesia, is "ecstatic" to be a new mother, according to her Chicago-based attorney. NBC Chicago's Chris Coffey reports.
    (Published Friday, March 20, 2015)

    They argued that Schaefer deliberately brought a metal fruit bowl when he came to the room at the St. Regis resort where Mack and her mother were staying. They said he then used the bowl to strike her, while Mack helped stuff her mother's body in the suitcase by sitting on it to enable Schaefer to close it.

    The prosecutors said they decided to be lenient with Mack because she repeatedly expressed remorse and recently gave birth.

    Schaefer testified that von Wiese-Mack was angry when she learned about her daughter's pregnancy and tried to strangle him, prompting him to strike her with the bowl.

    Presiding Judge Made Suweda adjourned the hearing until next Tuesday, when the judges are to deliver their verdict.

    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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