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Sheriff Says Bad Pot Deal Led To Forestville Triple Killing

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Sonoma County authorities responded to the fatal shootings of three men near Forestville on February 5, 2013. (CBS)

Sonoma County authorities responded to the fatal shootings of three men near Forestville on February 5, 2013. (CBS)

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FORESTVILLE (CBS SF) – The three men who were fatally shot in Forestville area residence Tuesday were waiting for someone who was going to sell them “a significant amount” of marijuana, a Sonoma County sheriff’s lieutenant said Wednesday afternoon.

“People associated with the victims said it was a pot deal gone bad. We believe the victims were associated with another involved party. The victims were the buyers,” Lt. Dennis O’Leary said.

The sheriff’s office has identified the victims as Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y., Raleigh Butler, 26, a former Petaluma resident who most recently was living in the Lake Tahoe area, and Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo.

Butler’s brother and Butler’s brother’s girlfriend, who called 911, found the bodies around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the bedroom of a cabin on property at 9707 Ross Station Road in the Forestville area, O’Leary said. He said it’s believed the shootings happened around noon.

Butler’s brother told investigators he was expecting a call from his brother and became concerned and went to the residence when he did not hear from him for four to six hours, O’Leary said.

Butler’s brother and his girlfriend are not suspected of being involved in the marijuana deal, O’Leary said.

Butler’s mother was renting a residence on the property but was out of state when the murders occurred, O’Leary said.

“There was a lot of blood at the scene, but no sign of a struggle,” O’Leary said. Some processed marijuana was found at the scene but not a weapon, he said.

“I don’t believe people in the neighborhood are in any danger,” O’Leary said. “We’re working on leads and interviewing associates of the three victims.”

Autopsies are scheduled for Thursday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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