Extradition granted for former Miss. deputy charged with manslaughter in the Netherlands
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - A former Forrest County Sheriff’s deputy is closer to being extradited to Europe to face manslaughter charges.
According to court documents, The United State’s motion to extradite William L. Johnson to the Netherlands was granted on Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Johnson is facing 19 charges in the Netherlands, including manslaughter and aggravated manslaughter.
In 2019, Johnson was accused of being involved in the murder of Thomas Schwarz, a German man living in the Netherlands, whose body was found in his home on Nov. 26, 2019.
According to the documents, a Swiss businessman named Lukas Fecker sent a message to an American named Justin Causey, saying he needed help collect money from a German living in the Netherlands.
FBI interviews with Johnson and phone records show Causey contacted Johnson and other Americans in order to hire them to force Schwarz to pay a sum of money to Fecker.
According to the documents, Fecker arranged for Johnson and another American’s flight to Europe where they met up with Causey. Johnson then drove Causey and another man to Schwarz’s home in a Volkswagen Polo.
Sometime after the men left Schwarz’s house, a colleague of Schwarz came to the property and found the door was open with blood smeared on the knob. The police were called, and Schwarz’s body was found lying in a pool of blood with his hands and feet bound. The victim also had multiple deep cuts on his body.
On July 26, 2021, an evidentiary hearing was held. The United States argued that the evidence presented satisfied the probable cause requirement for all the crimes for which the Netherlands was seeking extradition.
According to the documents, Johnson does not deny his participation in the events surrounding the death of Schwarz but challenges the extent of his participation and the extent to which he agreed to act. He also takes issues with the United State’s assertion that he understood that he was to physically force Schwarz to give up the money.
The documents, however, said that Johnson admitted to the FBI that he knew they had to physically force Schwarz to transfer the money. Johnson also received $10,000 worth of Euros the day after Schwarz’s death.
The court certified the extradition to the Netherland on all six offenses. It was ordered by United States Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker.
Johnson will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals pending the final disposition and decision on extradition by the Secretary of State of the United States. Once approved, he will be surrendered to agents of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
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