Unborn baby of U.S. suspect in Bali suitcase murder gets a lawyer

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 18, 2014 1:25 AM

DENPASAR Indonesia (Reuters) - An U.S. woman detained on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in connection with the murder of her mother has retained legal representation for her unborn child, the suspect's legal team said.

Heather Mack, 19, from Chicago, and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, were arrested on Aug. 13 as suspects in the death of Mack's mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, whose battered body was found in a suitcase in a taxi outside a luxury hotel.

"I'm here to represent Heather's unborn child," lawyer Vanessa Favia told reporters late on Wednesday outside the police station where Mack is being detained in Bali's provincial capital of Denpasar.

Favia said Mack was three months pregnant.

"I'm here to make sure that she's getting proper nutrition and ... all the medical attention she needs, so that she can have a healthy baby in the future," Favia said.

The two suspects have not been formally charged with a crime. Under Indonesian law, charges would follow an investigation that could take weeks.

Police in Bali, who last week began interrogating Mack, told Reuters on Thursday, she would not get special treatment because of her pregnancy.

Mack's own lawyer said the investigation was still going on.

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"I just hope that public opinion will be held until there's more evidence and not to judge at this point because it's a little bit early," Michael Elkin, Mack's U.S. lawyer, told reporters at the police station.

Asked how Mack was feeling, Favia said: "She's glad to have her team of lawyers to support her."

(Reporting by Wayan in Denpasar and Dennys Kapa in Jakarta; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Robert Birsel)