Suspect in Sonoma County triple murder case testifies against alleged shooter

(KRON) One of three defendants who were charged in connection with the murder of three men during a marijuana deal in Forestville in 2013 began his testimony this morning in the Sonoma County Superior County trial against the alleged shooter.

In the trial of 49-year-old Mark Cappello, Francis Dwyer, 68, of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, testified he and his son Odin Dwyer agreed to drive his Ford Ranger from Cappello’s Colorado home to California to pick up marijuana and then transport it to New York City.

Cappello traveled separately in his Ford Bronco, Dwyer said.”I was just along for the ride. I was going to be the support vehicle,” Dwyer said.

Dwyer, who has a bushy gray beard, said his payment would be “an all-expenses paid trip to the East Coast.”

Cappello is on trial for the execution-style gunshot murders of Raleigh Butler, 24, a former Sonoma County resident, Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, New York, and Todd Klarkowski, 42 of Boulder, Colorado, while they were packaging the pot for transportation in Butler’s mother’s Forestville cabin on Feb. 5, 2013.

The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office alleges Cappello betrayed the slain men and he and Odin Dwyer, 41, of Denver, left the cabin with 69 pounds of marijuana.

In his opening statement to the jury, Brady said Cappello told Odin Dwyer, “It had to be done.”

The Dwyers pleaded no contest in May 2015 to felony charges and agreed to testify truthfully against Cappello.

Francis Dwyer pleaded no contest to five felonies, including accessory to murder and marijuana transportation charges, and Odin Dwyer pleaded no contest to 15 felonies, including three counts of involuntary manslaughter, residential burglary and marijuana transportation.

Francis Dwyer will be sentenced to eight years, and Odin to 20 years and four months in prison.

Francis Dwyer testified that he waited in a Santa Rosa motel room with Cappello’s dog while his son and Cappello went to the Forestville cabin.

“That was fine with me,” Dwyer testified.He said he saw Cappello clean a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and bullets with rubbing alcohol before the two men left and clean the gun
again with alcohol when he returned to the motel.

He said when his son and Cappello returned to the motel a couple hours later, Odin “was pretty wound up.”

“He was not calm. He was agitated about something. He was not his usual happy-go-lucky self,” Dwyer said under questioning by Chief Deputy District Attorney Spencer Brady.

Francis Dwyer said Cappello asked him what he should do with the gun.”I said if you used it, get rid of it,” he said.

The gun was later found in a creek near Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park.

All three men were arrested within a month after the triple murder.

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