William Lyle Johnson (pictured) and his former soldier friends Jacob Mazeika and Justin Causey are extradited to the Netherlands to stand trial in the murder of Thomas Schwarz
A former US Army Ranger and his two ex-soldier friends accused of acting as hitmen in the brutal murder of a German businessman in the Netherlands will be extradited to face charges against them.
The Connecticut U.S. District Court has ordered that Jacob Mazeika, 38, be sent abroad to face trial in the 2019 murder of Thomas Schwarz, according to court records dated Sept. 20.
Mazeika, who completed two tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq, signed an affidavit the same day agreeing to the extradition.
He is on trial in the Netherlands on 19 charges, including murder, aggravated manslaughter and extortion resulting in death.
Mazeika was arrested in Connecticut last April and has been incarcerated ever since.
Justin Causey, of Colorado, and William Lyle Johnson, a former Mississippi sheriff’s deputy, have also been approved for extradition in connection with the case.
Johnson was arrested in the US in late April and held without bail. His extradition to the Netherlands was granted on 15 September.
Causey’s extradition was granted on September 7.
It is not yet clear when the extraditions will take place.
Former US Army Ranger Jacob Mazeika signed an affidavit on September 20, 2021 agreeing to his extradition to the Netherlands
Mazeika, from Connecticut, and two other soldiers – – were reportedly hired by a Swiss businessman to kill Schwarz, a struggling farmer who allegedly owed money to Lukas Fecker.
Schwarz was found dead at his home in Bergen on November 26, 2019. His hands and feet were tied with wire.
Dutch police were called to his home after receiving reports that Schwarz’s front door was open and the ‘handle was stained with blood’.
According to court documents, Schwarz had suffered several deep stab wounds, serious injuries to his back, broken ribs and his throat had been cut.
Neighbors reported hearing a loud bang and seeing “a person bent over with a sheet or blanket, and a woman.” It is not clear who the woman is. Later we saw two men with hats enter the house.
William Lyle Johnson is seen leaving the William M. Colmer Federal Courthouse in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, after a status hearing for an extradition request by authorities in the Netherlands
The victim would owe money to Lukas Fecker (photo)
They also recalled seeing a Volkswagen Polo rented by Causey and Fecker outside Schwarz’s house on the morning of November 26.
When Causey went to return the rental car, he left the floor mats behind and stated ‘he had cleaned the floor mats but forgot to put them back in the car before returning it’. Police said the car contained “traces” of Schwarz’s blood.
In addition, Mazeika and Johnson are said to have joined Causey in a hotel near Schwarz’s home in November, days before the murder.
The couple then returned to the US two days after Schwarz’s death.
Investigators also found “numerous” encrypted telephone exchanges between Causey, Mazeika and Johnson.
In a conversation where the men tried to determine how hard it would be to ‘grab’ Schwarz, Causey wrote: ”…thick, not strong. When the door closes and the street is clear, we take the key and open it. Brachial anesthesia makes a person quiet.’
“Oh, we can prevent noise, I asked in terms of whether it goes down on the blow, how heavy is it,” Mazeika replied, noting that using the front door would “make it easier to rush an entrance.” and ‘pushing him back quickly.’
Court documents show that the US Connecticut Court has ordered that Mazeika be sent to the Netherlands to face trial in the 2019 murder of Thomas Schwarz
The day after the murder, Causey is said to have texted his girlfriend that he was “not feeling well at this latest job,” but returned to the US with more than $200,000.
“$230,000 in 2 months,” he wrote. ‘However, it works…. Gentleman. Lessons learned on my side. Great lessons about [Lukas Fecker’s] side. Impeccable execution of the plan… Jacob is as good as gold. I wish Will wasn’t attached. He’s a good guy, but… you know’
Johnson claimed he was given $10,000.
It is unclear how much money Mazeika received or what his role in the plot was.
However, according to a court file from US prosecutors, “Mazeika was an integral part of the planning and execution of the operation, not a minimal participant.”