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New details about triple homicide near Forestville revealed in court filing

Mark William Capello.

Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.

Charging documents revealed new details about a triple homicide near Forestville as the second of three murder suspects made his first appearance in a Santa Rosa court Thursday.

The felony complaint alleges two of the victims, Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo., and Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y., were purchasing marijuana from the third victim, former Sebastopol resident Raleigh Butler, 24.

Their alleged killer, Mark William Capello, 46, of Central City, Colo., also was seeking to obtain pot from Butler, although his exact role in the deal was unclear. The complaint says he met with the three victims a day before the Feb. 5 slayings to view a sample of marijuana for sale.

The next day, Capello and co-defendant Odin Dwyer, 38, of Colorado, followed Butler, Klarkowski and Lewin into a Forestville house, the complaint says.

They packaged pot for transport before Capello and Odin left to meet in Santa Rosa with the third defendant, Dwyer's father, Francis Dwyer, 65, of New Mexico.

The three then fled with the marijuana to Colorado and New Mexico, the complaint says.

At some point, Capello is alleged to have shot the three men to death with a pistol. Their bodies were discovered by Butler's brother in a house their mother rented off Ross Station Road.

Capello was arrested Feb. 14 on Interstate 10 in Alabama after authorities pulled him over for a traffic stop and found he was wanted in California. The Dwyers were arrested in their home states 12 days later.

Capello is charged with three counts of murder with special circumstances, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted. Odin Dwyer was charged Thursday with three murders also, but no special circumstances.

Prosecutors say he and his father were accomplices.

Odin Dwyer appeared in court Thursday with his hands chained to his waist after being extradited from Colorado. Judge Jamie Thistlethwaite appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent him.

Capello and Dwyer will return to court Tuesday for entry of pleas. The elder Dwyer is being brought from New Mexico after his arrest there.

The new information adds to what authorities have already released about the relationship of the victims and suspects.

Detectives have said Klarkowski and Lewin were partners in the interstate drug trade who came to California to buy marijuana. Klarkowski is alleged to have brought in Capello, who involved his friend, Odin Dwyer.

The document said the three suspects, all charged with conspiracy, made arrangements from Colorado to get pot in California. They obtained plastic bins, presumably for storage, and drove in two vehicles to the state.

They met up in Sonoma County at an unspecified date. Capello armed himself with a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun believed to have been used in the slayings, according to the filing.

At the Forestville home on the day of the shootings, Klarkowski, Lewin, Butler and Odin Dwyer packaged the marijuana for transportation, the filing stated.

The complaint does not specify exactly when the shooting occurred.

Capello and Dwyer transported the packages into Capello's Ford Bronco before leaving the scene, it said.

The special circumstances alleged against Capello are killing for financial gain, lying in wait, the murder of multiple victims and killing during the course of a burglary.

The District Attorney's Office has not said if it will seek the death penalty in Capello's case.

The court filing utilizes an alternative spelling of Capello's surname. Investigators initially provided the name as “Cappello,” a version that was also listed in public records. Prosecutors said the spelling used in the court filing is the most accurate way to spell the name.

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