Judge to Lawyers in Bali Case: Save Money for Baby Stella - NBC Chicago

Judge to Lawyers in Bali Case: Save Money for Baby Stella

"I have to make sure that a child who has hurt nobody is given a fair shake," Judge Neil Cohen said Monday



    Judge to Lawyers in Bali Case: Save Money for Baby

    Judge Neil Cohen said he did not want lawyers "eating up" the money for the child. NBC Chicago's Chris Coffey reports. (Published Monday, June 1, 2015)

    A judge in Cook County on Monday urged all parties involved in a legal battle over Heather Mack’s contested trust fund to wrap things up soon for the sake of Mack’s baby daughter, Stella.

    Judge Neil Cohen said he did not want lawyers "eating up" the money for the child. He asked attorneys representing Mack, Stella and Mack’s uncle, William Wiese, to agree on a financial plan that provides for Stella now and in the future.

    "I have to make sure that a child who has hurt nobody is given a fair shake," Cohen said.

    According to lawyers close to the situation, progress was made Monday regarding the judge’s request.

    Chicago-area native Mack, 19, was convicted in Indonesia in April for her role in the murder of her mother, Sheila von Wiese Mack, whose body was found beaten and stuffed in a suitcase outside a posh Bali resort last August. Mack was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, was also found guilty and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

    Sheila von Wiese Mack left behind a trust fund totaling more than $2 million, but the money became the focus of a legal battle in Cook County Court around the same time Mack was given permission to access the fund to pay for legal fees. Lawyers representing von Wiese Mack’s brother, William Wiese, raised objections. A special interim trustee was named to oversee the funds earlier this year.

    Mack’s defense attorney in Indonesia, Ari Soenardi, is in the process of being paid the remainder of his $150,000 fee. The special interim trustee has since been granted his request to be relieved.

    Indonesian prison officials are allowing the young mother to raise Stella behind bars for the next two years.

    Schaefer’s mother, Kia Walker, attended Monday’s court hearing to support Stella.

    "I would love to have custody, but I think Heather will give custody to an Indonesian," Walker told the court.

    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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