66°
Partly sunny
FRI
 74°
 53°
SAT
 80°
 52°
SUN
 88°
 54°
MON
 88°
 55°
TUE
 82°
 56°

Vote for the Best of Sonoma County SO SONOMA COUNTY finalists: Best beach, picnic spot and more!

Pair plead not guilty in Forestville triple slaying

  • Mark William Cappello appears in Sonoma County Superior Court, Tuesday March 12, 2013 (KENT PORTER/ PD)

Two defendants in a triple homicide near Forestville pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges while a third suspect was fighting extradition from New Mexico.

Colorado residents Mark William Cappello, 46, and Odin Leonard Dwyer, 38, denied the three killings prosecutors believe happened during a marijuana deal last month.

The third suspect, Dwyer's father, Francis Raymond Dwyer, 65, is refusing to be transported to California from his home state, prosecutor Traci Carrillo said.

Carrillo said her office would seek a governor's warrant to have the elder Dwyer brought to Sonoma County to face charges.

The defendants are accused in the Feb. 5 slayings of Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo., Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y., and former Sebastopol resident Raleigh Butler, 24. Their bodies were found in a home off Ross Station Road where Butler's mother lived. She was out of town at the time of the slayings.

Prosecutors said Cappello shot them when they met at the house to buy pot from Butler. The Dwyers are believed to have been accomplices.

Cappello, who was arrested Feb. 14 in Mobile, Ala., and extradited to Sonoma County, is charged with three counts of murder with special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty. He's also charged with burglary, transportation of marijuana for sale and conspiracy.

Odin Dwyer, who was picked up in Adams County north of Denver, is also charged with three counts of murder, conspiracy and burglary but no special circumstances. Judge Julie Conger appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent him. The elder Dwyer is expected to face similar charges.

Just how the slayings occurred is unclear. Detectives believe Cappello was brought into the deal by Klarkowski, who investigators say distributed marijuana with Lewin for several years in an interstate drug ring.

Cappello is suspected of involving Odin Dwyer, a friend. The three suspects drove to Sonoma County from Colorado to obtain marijuana, the criminal complaint said.

After the slayings, the three men fled across state lines, the complaint said. Francis Dwyer was arrested in Truth or Consequences, N.M. On Thursday, he refused transport before a county magistrate and his case was referred to a state district court.

The extradition process will take 30 to 60 days, said Mercedes Murphy, a deputy district attorney in Sierra County, New Mexico.

Conger ordered Cappello and Odin Dwyer to return to court April 22 to set a preliminary hearing date.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they would revert back to the original spelling of Cappello's surname. They had filed charges using an alternative spelling, "Capello," but said they would update their filings after asking the defendant Tuesday how he spelled his name.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View