Accused of murder, US couple to welcome first baby girl

Accused of murder, US couple to welcome first baby girl
To the dock soon: Heather Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, an American couple accused of killing Mack’s mother, meet at the Bali High Prosecutor’s Office where their case file was submitted by the police on Tuesday. It was the first time they had been reunited since being detained two months ago.

American citizen Heather Mack, 19, arrested earlier in the year with her boyfriend for allegedly murdering her mother in Bali, is pregnant with a baby girl, due in the next three months.

Mack and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, both suspects in the murder, met in detention on Monday, before being moved to Kerobokan Penitentiary.

The couple has been detained in separate locations to prevent communication during the investigation.

They embraced in tears when they met and Schaefer repeatedly kissed Mack's stomach.

"Stella was kicking last night. She knew she would meet her dad," Mack said.

The young couple could be facing the death penalty if found guilty of murdering with premeditation Mack's 62-year-old mother, Sheila von Weise-Mack.

The victim's body was found in a suitcase allegedly put in a taxi trunk by the young couple outside 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 for the night.

After the arrest, they initially refused to give statements to the police.

To prevent communication, Mack was held in Denpasar Police detention centre, while Schaefer was detained at Bali Police headquarters.

The couple has only met a few times during the investigation for the police to confirm their statements and when the case reenactment was conducted at the St. Regis resort on Oct. 13.

Mack said she was very happy to see her baby's father again. "Last time I saw him was at the reconstruction. I am happy now."

As the case has been handed over to the prosecutors, the couple was transferred to Kerobokan Penitentiary on Monday afternoon. Mack said she was eager to care for her baby in the prison.

"I will keep her. I will breast-feed her," she said.

However, Mack said that she had no idea where the baby would be cared for if the prison would not allow her to keep the baby with her. Mack added that she loved Bali and was eager to live there after the case had been settled.

Kerobokan prison warden, Sudjonggo, said the prison provided proper treatment to all prisoners, including those who were pregnant. However, he stated the baby would not be born in the prison.

"No babies are born in the prison. Once a prisoner is ready to give birth, we will take her to hospital to get the proper treatment," he stated.

Sudjonggo also stated that the prison would provide standard Indonesian baby food for the child. However, the prison would only allow the mother to keep the baby with her for two years. "It is too risky to let a child grow up in prison. The prison cannot allow that," he said.

Both Mack and Schaefer will be charged with several articles of the Criminal Code, including Article 340 on premeditated murder, which carries the death penalty; Article 338 on murder carrying a 15-year prison term; Article 170 subsection 2 on violence causing death, which has a maximum 12-year prison term; and Article 221 on hiding a criminal carrying a nine-month prison term.

Mack will also be charged with Article 44 subsection 3 of Law no. 23/2004 on domestic violence, which carries a 15-year prison term.

Prosecutor Eddy Arta Wijaya said, "the trial could start in January next year".

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