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American couple's murder trial in Indonesia adjourned after newborn baby gets ill

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BALI, Indonesia — The trial of an American couple accused of killing the woman's mother in Indonesia adjourned after their newborn baby fell ill in prison, a prosecutor and a doctor said Thursday.

Heather Mack, 19, gave birth to a daughter, Stella, last week and returned with the baby to prison after several days' stay in the hospital.

She brought the 9-day-old baby to the prison clinic on Wednesday morning when she noticed the baby's skin was yellow, Anak Agung Gede Hartawan, a doctor at Kerobokan Penitentiary, told The Associated Press.

"The baby is suffering jaundice, we are conducting observations now," Hartawan said. "Her condition improved and (she) had no fever, but she will be taken to hospital for further treatment."

He suggested the baby should be taken to Sanglah Hospital on Friday.

Mack and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, both from Chicago, are being tried in the Denpasar District Court on charges of premeditated murder for the death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, last August while vacationing on the resort island of Bali. The victim's badly beaten body was found in a suitcase in a taxi trunk at the St. Regis Resort Hotel.

They could be sentenced to face a firing squad if convicted. The sentence demand had been scheduled to be read in court Wednesday,

However, Prosecutor Eddy Artha Wijaya said the demand could not be read in the defendants' absence, although their lawyers were present. The court decided to adjourn the trial until March 31.

"We have the letter from doctor who explained that both defendants and their baby are sick," Wijaya said. The prosecutor did not elaborate.

Schaefer testified at Mack's trial two weeks ago that he got angry at von Wiese-Mack because she used a racial slur against him and threatened the unborn baby. He also said the victim strangled him briefly and he struck her with a metal fruit bowl but didn't remember how many times.

Mack testified that they panicked afterward and that she did not want her mother dead.

According to the indictment, Schaefer battered von Wiese-Mack following an argument over the hotel bill and Mack helped stuff her mother's body into the suitcase by sitting on it to enable Schaefer to close it.

Prosecutors said Mack had suggested to Schaefer while they were in America that he hire someone for $50,000 to kill her mother.

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