TROUBLE ABROAD

U.S. Couple’s Bali Murder Trial Is OKed

Three Indonesian judges ruled Monday that the murder trial of a U.S. couple will continue, despite the defense team’s efforts to get the charges thrown out. Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, are accused of killing Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62. The indictment claims Mack killed von Wiese-Mack with the handle of a fruit bowl after von Wiese-Mack argued over the hotel bill and allegedly used a racial slur. The defense argued that there were multiple inaccuracies in the indictment that could skew the trial proceedings, including texts that unfairly insinuated Mack and Schaefer had committed premeditated murder. However, the three-judge panel rejected the argument, thus allowing the trial to proceed. Von Wiese-Mack’s body was found badly beaten in a suitcase outside an upscale Bali hotel. The couple faces the maximum penalty of death by firing squad if found guilty. Mack is also seven months pregnant.