Homicide

Chicago-area woman charged in mother's killing in Bali sues estate for cash to fund defense

  • Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., waits in a cell before her first hearing trial in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer are accused of murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, her mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

    Heather Mack of Chicago, Ill., waits in a cell before her first hearing trial in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer are accused of murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, her mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)  (The Associated Press)

  • Heather Mack, right, and Tommy Schaefer, left, of Chicago, Ill., handcuffed, arrive at Denpasar district court during they first hearing trial in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Mack and her boyfriend Schaefer are accused of murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, her mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

    Heather Mack, right, and Tommy Schaefer, left, of Chicago, Ill., handcuffed, arrive at Denpasar district court during they first hearing trial in Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Mack and her boyfriend Schaefer are accused of murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, her mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tommy Schaefer of Chicago, Ill., sits in a courtroom during his first hearing trial in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Schaefer and his girlfriend Heather Mack are accused of murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, Mack's mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

    Tommy Schaefer of Chicago, Ill., sits in a courtroom during his first hearing trial in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. Schaefer and his girlfriend Heather Mack are accused of murdering Sheila von Wiese-Mack, Mack's mother, who was found stuffed inside a suitcase last August. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)  (The Associated Press)

A Chicago-area teen accused of killing her mother on the Indonesian island of Bali is suing for access to the woman's estate.

Lawyers for 19-year-old Heather Mack on Thursday asked a Cook County judge to force her uncle, William Wiese, to release funds for her legal defense.

Wiese is trustee of his slain sister's estate.

Separate trials began Wednesday for Mack and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Tommy Schaefer, on charges of premeditated murder. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.

They were arrested Aug. 13, a day after the badly beaten body of the 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort.

Prosecutors contend the couple plotted to kill von Wiese-Mack because she disapproved of their relationship.