Heather Mack case: “It’s going to be a war” if the federal government arrests Mack on his return to Chicago from O’Hare, warns lawyer
With her client heading to Chicago for the first time since her mother’s murder in Bali in 2014, an attorney for Heather Mack warned that “it’s going to be a war” if federal authorities arrest the infamous Chicagoan who served a little more than seven years for the brutal crime.
“It’s going to be a dog fight, because they’re punishing Heather,” attorney Brian Claypool told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Claypool said Mack was due to land at O’Hare Airport around 9:30 a.m. on a flight from Seoul on Wednesday. He said he expects Mack to at least be detained by federal authorities for questioning about the murder of Sheila von Wiese-Mack of Oak Park.
But Claypool also said that “serving her with an arrest warrant also appears to be on the table.” That’s because arrangements were originally made for Mack to travel to Los Angeles after his release last week from an Indonesian prison, according to Claypool. He said the FBI contacted Mack a few days ago and told him she would be flying to Chicago.
“If the federal government is to bow to public pressure to subject my client to a federal charge and potentially another federal lawsuit, then you know we’re going to argue for several constitutional violations,” Claypool said.
A spokesperson for U.S. Attorney John Lausch could not immediately be reached for comment.
Claypool also said an emergency hearing was held in Cook County Estates Court on Tuesday to make arrangements for Mack’s 6-year-old daughter, Stella. He said the woman who served as Stella’s adoptive mother overseas flies to Chicago, along with Mack and Stella.
He said a court order has been obtained that would allow a temporary guardian to take custody of Stella, if necessary, and he said the foster mother will be able to accompany them.
Yet Claypool already intends to dispute any charges against Mack. He said federal law prevents a US citizen prosecuted in a foreign country from being prosecuted “for the same crime” in the United States. If prosecutors try to argue that she is charged here with a different crime, he said “we will fight this to the end.” “
He also alleged that the FBI helped Indonesian prosecutors gain access to cell phones containing evidence already used to convict Mack and her then-boyfriend Tommy Schaefer.
There had long been signs of a possible lawsuit in the United States if Mack returned home. Prosecutors here said von Wiese-Mack was clubbed to death with the metal handle of a fruit stand so that Mack, Schaefer and Schaefer’s cousin Robert Bibbs could enrich themselves with the proceeds of the estate. $ 1.5 million from von Wiese-Mack.
Von Wiese-Mack’s body was discovered in a suitcase left in a taxi outside the St. Regis Bali Resort on August 12, 2014.
Schaefer was sentenced abroad to 18 years in prison for beating von Wiese-Mack to death, and Mack was sentenced to 10 years for helping.
Bibbs was sued in federal court in Chicago and sentenced to nine years in prison. Yet prosecutors wrote in 2017 that he was “much less guilty than Schaefer and Mack.”
Claypool said on Tuesday that it “doesn’t matter. You can’t have two apple bites.