US Woman Gets 26 Years In Prison For Helping To Kill Her Mother And Stuffing Body In Suitcase

(AP) — An American woman who pleaded guilty to helping kill her mother and stuffing the body in a suitcase during a luxury vacation in Bali was sentenced in Chicago Wednesday to 26 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors had recommended a 28-year prison sentence for Heather Mack for conspiring with her boyfriend to kill Sheila von Wiese-Mack in 2014.

Mack’s attorney Michael Leonard said he expects Mack, 28, will be locked up for roughly 20 years including good behaviour credits available to all federal prisoners.

His estimate also accounts for the judge giving Mack credit for the two-plus years she spent in custody in Chicago after completing a jail term in Indonesia.

She was deported to the United States in 2021.

Before her sentence was read, Mack apologised to her mother’s siblings through tears.

“It breaks my heart, hearing you cry,” she told Debbi Curran, her aunt and Wiese-Mack’s sister, who had audibly sobbed as her daughter read a victim impact statement on Curran’s behalf.

“There’s no excuse for trying to harm her,” Mack said.

“I miss and love my mother.”

The government also wanted Mack to get five years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution of $262,708.

In a filing last week, prosecutors said the recommended sentence was “warranted and sufficient, but not greater than necessary to serve a just and appropriate punishment for Mack’s heinous crime.”

The sentencing hearing began Wednesday morning with testimony from Bill Wiese, Wiese-Mack’s brother and Mack’s uncle.

He asked Judge Matthew Kennelly to impose the maximum sentence possible, saying Mack had never shown remorse.

“If it were up to me, Heather would spend the rest of her life behind bars,” Wiese said. He later said Mack’s courtroom apology was the first time he had heard her say she was sorry.