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Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Blog

Suspect in Triple Homicide Near Santa Rosa Could Face Death Penalty

In February, a Central City, CO man was arrested in connection with a triple homicide that occurred near Santa Rosa in Forestville.  Mark William Cappello was arrested in Alabama on February 14, and is one of three men suspected in the murders of three other men in the process of what has been called a botched marijuana deal.  Cappello made his first court appearance on Tuesday in Sonoma County on Tuesday March 5, and was charged with being the shooter in a special-circumstances murder case.  If convicted, Cappello could face the death penalty.

According to a news report at the Press Democrat, prosecutors believe that the suspect was involved in a marijuana deal on Ross Station Road on February 5; he allegedly gunned down the three victims at that time after lying in wait.  Cappello has been charged with three counts of murder with special circumstances for killing three individuals, killing for financial gain, and committing the murders in the course of a burglary.  Prosecutor Traci Carrillo said that the death sentence could be sought due to all of the special circumstances.

The victims include 46-year-old Richard Lewin, 26-year-old Raleigh Butler, and 42-year-old Todd Klarkowski.  According to authorities, the three men responsible for the murders had arranged to purchase a substantial amount of marijuana at a residence where Butler’s mother lived.  The men believed to be Cappello’s accomplices include 65-year-old Francis R. Dwyer and his son, 38-year-old Odin Leonard Dwyer of New Mexico.  Cappello was arrested in Mobile, AL during a traffic stop; following the killings, he had been tracked to the Gulf Coast according to news reports.  Cappello neither admitted or denied the charges at the time of his arrest.

Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyers understand that frequently, drugs are a factor in violent crimes such as murder.  However, those who are accused of such serious criminal offenses do have legal rights, and are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  It is critical that you consult with a skilled attorney who focuses on securing the freedom of those charged with serious crimes.

If you have been arrested for murder, homicide, manslaughter or any criminal offense that could leave you facing a life behind bars or even the death penalty, you must discuss your situation with a capable and aggressive Santa Rosa murder defense attorney as soon as possible.

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