Heather Mack, charged in suitcase murder, to remain locked up

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CHICAGO — Heather Mack, arrested in the U.S. last week on a murder conspiracy charge in the 2014 slaying of her mother in Indonesia, will remain locked up after her attorney waived a detention hearing Wednesday.

Mack, now 26, was released from prison in Indonesia earlier this month after serving seven years and two months of a 10-year sentence.

U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle agreed to waive the hearing in which attorneys would have argued over whether Mack should be allowed to post bond. Mack sat in the courtroom wearing an orange jail-issued jumpsuit and shackled at the ankles.

Norgle said Mack’s attorney could request another hearing at any time, but if no other hearing is scheduled, she will remain in federal custody at least until her next court appearance on Jan. 18.

Bill Weise, the brother of murder victim Sheila Von Weise Mack, spoke alongside sibling Debbie after the detention hearing for his niece Heather Mack. 

“We are pleased that Sheila will finally have her day in court,” Weise said. “Debbie and I are incredibly relieved and appreciative of this decision that was reached today.”

Mack’s boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, is serving an 18-year sentence for masterminding the plot. In addition, Schaefer’s brother is serving a 9-year sentence in Michigan for his role in coaching Heather and Tommy on how to carry out the murder.

Schaefer’s mother was in court Wednesday and asked to gain custody of the couple’s daughter, Stella. Presently, one of Mack’s attorneys was appointed her guardian last week.

Mack’s uncle and aunt said they would like to see her remain in federal custody.

“We again want to thank every one of the FBI agents and US Justice Department officers who have made it possible for us to obtain real justice for our dear Sheila,” Bill Weise said. “Thank you.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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