Chicago woman in In­done­sia pri­son not sell­ing baby: at­tor­ney

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

An at­tor­ney for a Chicago woman con­victed in In­done­sia of killing her mother said Fri­day that al­le­ga­tions made in a Chicago court­room that the woman is sell­ing her baby are false.

Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend, Tommy Schae­fer, 21, both from Chicago, were con­victed in April of killing Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, while va­ca­tion­ing last Au­gust on the re­sort is­land of Bali. Schae­fer was sen­tenced to 18 years in pri­son for bat­ter­ing the woman to death and Mack to 10 years for help­ing.

Mack gave birth to Stella, the cou­ple’s baby girl, in March, and has been car­ing for the baby in pri­son. An at­tor­ney for Mack said ear­lier this week that Mack may ask a lo­cal fam­ily to care for her.

On Fri­day, Schae­fer’s mother, Kia Walker, told a Cook County judge pre­sid­ing over a trust fund case that she fears the baby is be­ing sold for US$150,000, the Chicago Tri­bune re­ported.

Asked for proof, Walker told Judge Neil Co­hen: “Would text mes­sages and a con­fes­sion be ac­cept­able?” The judge en­cour­aged her to hire an at­tor­ney.

Later, Walker de­clined to an­swer re­porters’ ques­tions say- ing she feared she would not be quoted ac­cu­rately. “No, I’d rather put it in a book,” she said.

That prompted a re­ac­tion from Mack’s at­tor­ney.

“The al­le­ga­tions of Heather sell­ing Baby Stella f or US$ 150,000.00 are un­equiv­o­cally ‘ not true,’ but are noth­ing more than a smear­ing cam­paign of Heather’s gen­uine con­cerns for Stella,” Mack at­tor­ney Michael Elkin said in an email to The As­so­ci­ated Press. “The fi­nan­cial mo­tives of Kia Walker are com­ing to light by her own ad­mis­sions.”

The trust fund on whether Mack case hinges is en­ti­tled to money her mother left her. If she loses the in­her­i­tance be­cause of her crim­i­nal con­vic­tion, the money could go to her baby.

At his trial, Schae­fer tes­ti­fied that von Wiese- Mack was an­gry when she learned about her daugh­ter’s preg­nancy and tried to stran­gle Schae­fer, prompt­ing him to strike her with metal fruit bowl.

Pros­e­cu­tors said Mack helped Schae­fer stuff her mother’s body into the suit­case by sit­ting on it to en­able Schae­fer to close it. They then placed the suit­case in the trunk of the taxi and told the driver they were go­ing to check out of the ho­tel and would re­turn, but never did, pros­e­cu­tors said.

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