Bay City News Service
Charges were filed in Sonoma County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon
against one of three suspects in the marijuana-related triple homicides near
Forestville last month.
Mark Cappello, 46, of Central City, Colo. could face the death penalty for any of four special circumstances that allege the murders were committed for financial gain, while lying in wait, during a burglary and involving multiple victims, Deputy District Attorney Traci Carrillo said.
Cappello also is charged with burglary, conspiracy to transport marijuana and personal use of a .45 caliber pistol, Carrillo said.
The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office will decide whether to pursue the death penalty after thoroughly evaluating the case and consulting with the victims' families, Carrillo said.
Cappello, who was arrested Feb. 14 during a traffic stop in Mobile, Ala., did not enter a plea and his next court hearing is Tuesday.
His two co-defendants, Odin Leonard Dwyer, 38, who was living near Denver, and Dwyer's father, Francis R. Dwyer, 65, of Truth or Consequences, N.M., also were arrested in their home states in connection with the murders.
Odin Dwyer was expected to arrive in Sonoma County Tuesday and could be arraigned Thursday, Carrillo said. Francis Dwyer has not yet been extradited.
The defendants are suspects in the shooting murders of Raleigh Butler, 26, a former Sonoma County resident who was living in Truckee; Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y.; and Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo.
Their bodies were found Feb. 5 by Butler's brother in a cabin rented by Butler's mother at 9797 Ross Station Road near Forestville.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office believes they were at the cabin to buy marijuana and were slain when the deal went awry.
The sheriff's office released photos of the Dwyers that were taken from a video surveillance camera at a Saint Helena gas station the day before the murders.
Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said Cappello was involved in marijuana deals with Klarkowski, and both Lewin and Cappello were friends with Odin Dwyer.
Klarkowski and Lewin had worked together on drug deals for some time, O'Leary said.
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