The Mississippi Sheriff’s Deputy and his New Jersey friend are extradited to the Netherlands after being ‘hired as hitmen to kill a struggling farmer over unpaid debts’
- Thomas Schwarz was found dead at his home in Bergen in November 2019
- He had been stabbed and his throat slit; his ‘door handle stained with blood’
- The farmer, in his thirties, is said to owe money to businessman Lukas Fecker
- Now, Dutch police are seeking to extradite William Lyle Johnson, 34, and Jacob Mazeika, 38, who claims they were hired as hitmen by Fecker to kill Schwarz.
A former Mississippi sheriff’s deputy and his New Jersey friend are extradited to the Netherlands for claiming they were hired as a hitman to kill a struggling farmer over his debts.
Thomas Schwarz was found dead at his home in Bergen in November 2019. The owner of the organic farm, in his thirties, is said to owe money to Lukas Fecker.
Schwarz’s front door was found open and “the door handle was stained with blood,” court documents say. He was stabbed and cut his throat.
Now, Dutch police are seeking the extradition of William Lyle Johnson, 34, and Jacob Mazeika, 38, over allegations that they were hired by Fecker as a hit man to murder Schwarz. The Daily Beast reports.
Johnson served in the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office from May 2017 to April 2019 and served as a deputy sheriff in 2018.
The two American men have been charged with crimes related to murder, manslaughter and hostage-taking by Dutch officials.
Johnson, from Hattiesburg, was arrested in the US late last month and is being held without bail in the US; Mazeika will appear in a US court on June 23.
Fecker, 51, owns Innovation Brain, which buys companies ‘on the brink of bankruptcy’. He is detained in the Netherlands awaiting trial. It is unclear what allegations he is facing.
It is unclear what connects Johnson and Mazeika to Fecker.
Thomas Schwarz was found dead at his home in Bergen in November 2019. The owner of an organic farm in his thirties is said to owe money to Lukas Fecker, photo
Court documents state: ‘The Dutch authorities consider it likely that the [Schwarz] and Fecker had a business relationship, and that the victim may have owed money to Fecker.
“Fecker is currently detained and awaiting trial in the Netherlands.”
A third American man, Justin Steven Causey, from Colorado is also mentioned in lawsuits, but it is not clear if he is directly charged with any crime in this case.
Court documents describe how Schwarz was warned several weeks before his death to pay his debts by two English-speaking men.
Mazeika and Johnson are said to have joined Causey in a hotel close to Schwarz’s house in November, days before the murder.
Their flight reservations from the US would have been made by Fecker.
And neighbors recall seeing a Volkswagen Polo – rented by Causey and Fecker – outside Schwarz’s house on the morning of Nov. 26.
They also reported hearing a loud bang and “one person leaning forward, holding a sheet or blanket, and seeing a woman.” It is unclear who the woman is.
Dutch police are seeking extradition of William Lyle Johnson, 34, and Jacob Mazeika, 38, over allegations that they were hired by Fecker as a hit man to murder Schwarz
It is unclear what links Johnson and Mazeika to Fecker, but Johnson was employed by the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office from May 2017 to April 2019 and was the sheriff’s deputy in 2018.
According to court documents, two men in hats were later seen entering the house.
And after Causey returned the rental car without the mats, “he stated that he had cleaned the floor mats but forgot to put them back in the car before returning it.”
The car had ‘traces’ of Schwarz’ blood, authorities say.
Mazeika and Johnson returned to the US two days after Schwarz’s death.