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Man Gets 9 Years For Giving Advice In Sheila von Wiese-Mack Slaying

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A man who offered advice to his cousin in the 2014 murder of a woman at an Indonesian resort was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday.

Robert Bibbs entering the Dirksen Federal Court House before his sentencing, Chicago, Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Bibbs is accused of aiding Tommy Schaefer and Heather Mack as they planned the murder of MackÕs mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, in 2014. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

Robert Bibbs, 26, did not directly participate in the slaying of Sheila von Wiese-Mack.

However, prosecutors say text messages he sent to his cousin, Tommy Schaefer, and comments made to the FBI after the killing showed he encouraged the crime and expected to be rewarded.

Von Wiese-Mack, 62, was killed on Aug. 12, 2014, while vacation in Bali with her daughter, Heather Mack.

Mack and Schaefer were convicted by an Indonesian jury of the murder in 2015. Schaefer had traveled to Bali to kill Mack's mother, authorities said. After the murder, the couple stuffed the woman's body in a suitcase and left it in a taxi. Heather Mack was pregnant with Schaefer's child at the time.

"It's horrifying that someone who had every opportunity to step in, prevent a violent murder in fact did nothing of the kind," said U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer.

Prosecutors had asked that Bibbs be sentenced to 11 years.

Bibbs said he accepts "full responsibility for my part."

"I was lost as a man, I was depressed," Bibbs said. "I was drinking, I had suffered a number of significant problems and it made me not see clearly."

He called it a lapse in judgment, which the judge rejected, saying that's the sort of thing a person says about locking a set of keys in the car.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.


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