Bali murder suspect gives birth to baby girl

Bali murder suspect gives birth to baby girl
U.S. citizen Heather Mack is led from a court in Denpasar, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali January 14, 2015.

American national Heather Mack, 19, who along with her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, has been charged in the murder of Mack's mother, Sheila Ann von Weise-Mack, has given birth to a healthy baby girl at Sanglah Hospital in Bali.

Kerobokan prison warden Sudjonggo told The Jakarta Post the baby was delivered by caesarian section on Tuesday evening.

The 2.8 kg baby girl was brought outside the delivery room to be seen by Mack's friends on Wednesday morning.

Mack, who could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering her mother, was taken to a hospital on Tuesday afternoon by prison ambulance from Kerobokan Penitentiary, where she and Schaefer are being held.

She went straight to the delivery room around 3 p.m. after greeting friends who had been waiting for her to arrive.

Earlier, Mack told reporters she would name her child Putu Stella; Putu being derived from the Balinese word for "youngest child", and Stella from the name of her grandmother.

In December last year Mack said she was eager to care for her baby in prison. "I will keep her. I will breast-feed her," she said.

However, Mack said she had no idea where the baby would be cared for if the prison prohibited her from keeping the child.

Sudjonggo said that the prison would allow only a prisoner to keep a baby for two years. "It is too risky to let a child grow up in prison. The prison cannot allow that," he said.

Mack and Schaefer have been charged with premeditated murder in the death of Mack's 62-year-old mother, Sheila von Weise-Mack, in August last year.

The victim's body was found in a suitcase allegedly placed in a taxi trunk by the young couple at the St. Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua on Aug. 12, where the three had been vacationing. Mack and Schaefer left the hotel via the beach and were arrested on Aug. 13, one day after the murder, at Risata Bali Resort in Kuta, where they had stayed the night.

Last week, Schaefer told the court he was angry after the victim threatened to kill his unborn baby and strangled him for about half a minute.

Testifying at the trial of Mack, Schaefer told the court Mack's mother had not supported their relationship.

Schaefer said he visited Bali to meet with Mack, who was already in Bali. The couple then discussed how to inform Von Wiese-Mack that Mack was pregnant and agreed to meet in the hotel room where Mack and her mother were staying.

Schaefer said Von Wiese-Mack was angry when she found out Mack was pregnant. The victim, he said, insulted him using a racial slur and described her daughter as a prostitute. Schaefer said he could not remember how many times he beat the victim. The trial will resume on March 24, when the prosecution will deliver its sentence demands.

 

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