Bali Murder Suspect Moves To Transfer Part Of Trust Fund To Baby Daughter

CHICAGO (CBS) — As a young woman from Chicago awaits a verdict from an Indonesian court in the killing of her mother, she’s moving to transfer part of her $1.3 million trust fund to her newborn daughter.

Vanessa Favia, an attorney for 19-year-old Heather Mack, said she has filed a petition in Cook County Circuit Court to set aside about half a million dollars from Mack’s trust fund for the needs of her 4-week old daughter, Stella.

“She’s actually making a really smart financial move to protect Stella; and Heather’s goal, ultimately, is to look out for her child that she’s fallen in love with,” Favia said.

Favia said Stella has no standing to access the fund, and has urgent needs, including “clothes, baby wipes, bouncy chair; everything that any newborn child needs.”

If convicted of her mother’s murder, Mack stands to lose her entire $1.3 million trust fund – her inheritance from her mother. Putting part of it in Stella’s name could preserve that portion.

A Cook County judge has permitted Mack to use the trust fund to pay for her legal bills

Mack and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer, are charged with premeditated murder in Indonesia, accused of killing Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, following an argument about Mack’s pregnancy.

Schaefer has testified he struck von Wiese-Mack with a metal fruit bowl in self-defense, claiming she threatened Mack’s unborn child, and began choking him, after demanding Mack get an abortion.

Prosecutors have argued Mack and Schaefer plotted to kill von Wiese-Mack because she did not approve of their relationship. Mack allegedly helped Schaefer stuff her mother’s body in a suitcase after he beat von Wiese-Mack to death.

A three-judge panel on Bali was scheduled to issue its verdict in the case on Tuesday. Prosecutors have sought a 15-year sentence for Mack, and an 18-year sentence for Schaefer, but if the judges find them guilty, they could ignore that request and sentence them to the maximum penalty, death by firing squad.

Sheila von Wiese-Mack (Credit: Caxton Club)

Sheila von Wiese-Mack (Credit: Caxton Club)

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