Two of three men charged with the alleged drug-related murders of three men in the Forestville area last month pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court this morning. The three suspects are Mark William Cappello, 46, of Central City, Colo.; Odin Dwyer, 38, of the Denver, Colo. area; and Francis Dwyer, 65, of Truth or Consequences, N.M. They are each charged with three counts of murder, as well as single counts of burglary, conspiracy to possess marijuana for sale, and conspiracy to sell or transport marijuana. The Dwyers, who are father and son, are also charged with being accessories to burglary and murder by allegedly helping Cappello escape arrest. Cappello, the alleged shooter, could face the death penalty if he is convicted of special-circumstance allegations that the killings were for financial gain, that he committed them while lying in wait, and that he committed them during a burglary. Cappello and Odin Dwyer entered their pleas this morning. They will return to court on April 22, when a preliminary hearing date will be set.
Francis Dwyer is fighting extradition from New Mexico, where he was arrested, Deputy District Attorney Traci Carrillo said this morning. The victims — Raleigh Butler, 26, a former Sonoma County resident who recently lived in Truckee; Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y.; and Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo. — were shot at Butler’s mother’s cabin near Forestville on Feb. 5, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Butler had allegedly arranged a meeting at the cabin, located on Ross Station Road, to sell marijuana to the suspects, according to a criminal complaint filed in court by the district attorney’s office. Their bodies were found at the cabin by Butler’s brother. According to the complaint, Cappello and the Dwyers made arrangements in Colorado to buy the marijuana in California, and one of them obtained plastic bins to transport it.
The three men drove in two vehicles from Colorado to California, and Cappello met Butler, Klarkowski and Lewin in Sebastopol on Feb. 4 to view a sample of the marijuana for purchase, according to the complaint. The complaint alleges that on the day of the killings, Cappello armed himself with a .45-caliber pistol and drove with Odin Dwyer to Sebastopol to meet with Klarkowski and Lewin. According to the complaint, Cappello and Odin Dwyer followed Klarkowski and Lewin to the cabin, where Odin Dwyer, Klarkowski, Lewin and Butler packaged the marijuana for transport. Cappello and Odin Dwyer allegedly put the packaged marijuana into Cappello’s Ford Bronco, and they then met Francis Dwyer in Santa Rosa to discuss how to get the drug out of California, the complaint states. Cappello and the Dwyers then allegedly drove to Colorado and New Mexico with the marijuana, according to the complaint. Cappello was arrested in Mobile, Ala., after a traffic stop on Valentine’s Day, and the Dwyers were arrested in Colorado and New Mexico on March 1.
Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.