SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A Colorado man on Friday was found guilty of six felonies including three counts of first-degree murder for the execution-style shooting of three business partners during a marijuana deal in a Forestville cabin three years ago.
Mark Cappello, 49, of Central City, Colorado, was convicted of the murder charges along with conspiracy to sell marijuana, robbery and residential burglary after the Sonoma County jury deliberated for less than a day.
The jury found Cappello guilty of killing Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colorado; Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, New York; and Raleigh Butler, 26, of Truckee, in Butler’s mother’s cabin on Feb. 5, 2013.
Two of Cappello’s co-defendants Odin Dwyer, 39, of Denver, Colorado, and Odin’s father Francis Dwyer, 66, of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, also are charged with the murders and being an accessory. The murder complaint alleges the killings were for financial gain, were committed while lying in wait and involved multiple victims.
Investigators believe Klarkowski, Lewin and Cappello traveled separately to California to buy marijuana from Butler, and that Cappello recruited the Dwyers to transport it to Colorado.
Cappello allegedly shot Klarkowski, Butler and Lewin in Butler’s mother’s Forestville cabin while the victims were packaging the marijuana for transport. Then Cappello and Odin Dwyer allegedly left the cabin with 69 pounds of processed marijuana.
Cappello and the Dwyers then allegedly split the marijuana into thirds, but Cappello then gave his share to the Dwyers and told them to give him $90,000 when they sold it, according to testimony at Cappello’s preliminary hearing.
The Dwyers pleaded no contest to lesser charges in return for lighter sentences and testified against Capello. The defense claimed those two men committed the slayings.
The prosecution characterized the murders as a betrayal of trust and argued Cappello killed the men because he was in dire financial straits.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.