There is a new concern about the pregnant Chicago teenager accused of killing her mother at a posh resort in Bali.
Heather Mack is described as “suicidal” by her attorney in Indonesia.
Mack’s defense attorney, Ary Soenardi, sent a letter to the special trustee of Mack’s $1.5 million trust fund and said the 19-year-old is stuck in a financial battle. He wrote that more problems arise each week with Mack’s financial situation and her personal health.
“I am in contact with my client every day and she is very depressed and often mentions taking her own life because she does not believe I will remain as her lawyer if my retainer fee is not met immediately,” Soenardi wrote.
Soenardi wrote he has threatened to withdraw as Mack’s legal counsel in Indonesia because he has only received a third of his retainer fee.
“My job is to save Heather’s life from the death penalty in Indonesia and I am proving her innocence as it is not a hard job,” Soenardi said.
Cook County Judge Neil Cohen said Soenardi is using the letter as “emotional blackmail” to extract money from the trust. Last month Cohen ordered that Soenardi be paid in three installments from the trust as long as Soenardi provides detailed billing invoices.
Soenardi said he’s supplied the invoices. Cohen authorized another payment Friday.
Cohen may also approve several thousand dollars for Mack’s birthing expenses. She’s due to give birth in April. But Cohen has requested more expected cost details from her Chicago based lawyer, Anthony Scifo.
Scifo also withdrew his request to be withdrawn from representing Mack state-side. He said he has been speaking to her each day.
“Heather’s doing well. She’s a little bit nervous. Her attorney will be getting some fees, so we’re happy about that,” Scifo said.
Mack and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, are on trial accused of killing Mack's mother, Sheila von Wiese Mack, and stuffing the body in a suitcase.
Mack has claimed she’s innocent.
The couple are currently being tried separately. They face the death penalty if convicted.