A woman who plotted to kill her mother and then stuffed her body in a suitcase in Bali, Indonesia, in 2014 was sentenced on Wednesday to 26 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of U.S. District Court in Illinois sentenced the woman, Heather L. Mack, after she had pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiring to kill a U.S. national.

The sentence, handed down in a Chicago courtroom, was just shy of the 28 years sought by federal prosecutors. Ms. Mack was also ordered to pay restitution of $262,708 and a $50,000 fine. Her time in prison will be followed by five years of supervised release, according to prosecutors.

“This was a brutal and premeditated crime,” Judge Kennelly said in court on Wednesday, according to local news outlets.

Ms. Mack’s case drew international attention after she was accused of plotting to kill her mother, Sheila A. Von Wiese, the wealthy widow of a Chicago composer. Ms. Mack was convicted in Indonesia of crimes related to the death, and she spent seven years in jail there before she was released and returned to Chicago in 2021 to face federal charges.

Ms. Mack will get credit for the time she has spent in jail in Chicago since November 2021, but not for the years she spent imprisoned in Indonesia, prosecutors said.

Lawyers for Ms. Mack did not immediately respond to requests for comment after the sentencing. Prosecutors declined to comment.

In 2014, when Ms. Mack was 18, she arranged for Tommy E. Schaefer, her boyfriend at the time, to travel to Bali, according to prosecutors. After Mr. Schaefer arrived there, prosecutors said, the couple exchanged text messages about how and when to murder Ms. Von Wiese.

On Aug. 12, 2014, Mr. Schaefer went to a hotel room where Ms. Von Wiese was staying and beat her to death while Ms. Mack was present, according to prosecutors and court documents. The couple then tried to clean up the room and stuffed Ms. Von Wiese’s body into a suitcase, according to court documents. The couple fled the hotel and left the suitcase with the body in a taxi, prosecutors said.

An autopsy found that Ms. Von Wiese’s cause of death was from the blunt force of blows, which fractured her nasal bone and jawbone, according to court documents.

Mr. Schaefer was sentenced to 18 years and remains in prison in Indonesia.

Prosecutors said in the sentencing memo that Ms. Von Wiese had worried that Ms. Mack would kill her some day, and that police reports detailed a history of episodes in which Ms. Mack had attacked her mother. Ms. Mack and Mr. Schaefer had been “extremely calculating about the murder,” and had made plans to receive money from Ms. Von Wiese’s estate after her death, according to court documents.

“The fact that Mack was the person responsible for planning and carrying out the murder of her own mother, and her lack of remorse, including her extensive efforts to conceal her crime, is terrifying and indicate that Mack is still capable of committing the most heinous acts when she feels it is to her benefit,” prosecutors wrote. “Mack is devoid of empathy and remorse.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *