North Texas

Marine Suspected in UNT Student Shooting to Be Extradited

Authorities said a 20-year-old Marine accused of shooting and killing a University of North Texas student in Denton could be extradited soon.

Marine Cpl. Eric Jamal Johnson was arrested Jan. 5 in Yuma, Arizona, after he allegedly admitted to shooting 20-year-old Sara Mutschlechner while she was driving.

Witnesses told police Mutschlechner — identified by friends as a film major and member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority — left a party with three passengers in a sedan Jan. 1 when a gray Honda SUV drove up next to them.

A person in the car exchanged words with the women, which police said became sexually offensive. Someone then fired a gun into the sedan, striking Mutschlechner in the head.

Authorities said they expect Johnson to waive extradition when he appears in court Monday. Denton County Sheriff's deputies and police said they expect Johnson to arrive in North Texas next week.

"He'll come here and most likely he'll be transported straight to the county jail," Denton Police Department spokesman Shane Kizer said.

Johnson faces a charge of murder in the shooting.

Denton police said they're confident Johnson is the shooter, but they are still investigating and questioning the other passengers in the car.

Capt. Justin Smith, a spokesman for the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command in California, said Johnson joined the Marines in August 2013. He said Johnson was an administrative specialist and had never been deployed.

The U.S. Marine Corps issued a statement Friday saying Johnson had been "administratively separated from the Marine Corps under other than honorable conditions."

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