SANTA ROSA (BCN) — A state prison inmate testified this afternoon that the prosecution’s key witness Odin Dwyer, told him he, not Mark Cappello, killed three men during a marijuana deal in Sonoma County three years ago.
The testimony in Sonoma County Superior Court by Charles Martin Wyatt, 43, came as the defense nears the end of its case. The jury is expected to deliberate next week.
Wyatt said he and Odin Dwyer, 41, had conversations in the Sonoma County Jail after the murders on Feb. 5, 2013.
“He told me he was the guy that, in his words, whacked the three victims,” Wyatt said. “He said Cappello didn’t know about the (marijuana) robbery or the murders,” Wyatt said.
Odin Dwyer has testified he was in the Forestville cabin when Cappello, 49, of Central City, Colorado, shot Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colorado, Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, New York and Raleigh
Butler, 26, of Truckee whose mother owned the cabin.
The victims were packaging the marijuana for transportation to Colorado when each of them was shot once in the back of the head, according to trial testimony.
Odin, of Denver, Colorado, and his father Francis Dwyer, 68, of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, testified they drove in Francis’ Ford Ranger from Colorado to California to pick up the marijuana and transport 69 pounds of it back to Colorado.
Odin Dwyer testified that after the slayings Cappello told him, “It was something that had to be done.”
Cappello drove to California and back to Colorado in his Ford Bronco and he told the Dwyers to get rid of the .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and other evidence shortly after the murders, according to the Dwyers’ testimony.
Wyatt’s testimony for the defense began this afternoon with his admission that he had felony convictions for selling marijuana, rape of an unconscious person and inflicting traumatic injury on a spouse or co-inhabitant in 2005 and 2014 in addition to several misdemeanor convictions.
Wyatt said Odin told him he already had planned to steal the marijuana before they left Colorado, but he wasn’t planning on killing the three victims who were buying it unless they saw his face.
Wyatt said Odin told him he owed someone in Colorado money for a drug deal.
The prosecution alleges Cappello betrayed the victims out of greed to keep the marijuana and the money.
Wyatt said Odin told him Cappello was at a motel at the time of the slayings. Wyatt said Odin told him he and Francis were going to offer Cappello some of the marijuana, but Cappello was angry about the murders and refused it, so they agreed to give Cappello money at a later date.
Wyatt also testified he tried to contact Deputy District Attorney Traci Carrillo, who was handling the triple-murder case, by a letter and later a note in March and April 2013 to tell her what Odin told him.
Under cross-examination by Chief Deputy District Attorney Spencer Brady, Wyatt admitted he had several cases pending against him and his bail was $1.5 million at the time he tried to contact Carrillo. He denied he was trying to curry favor with the prosecution at that time to get help on his pending criminal charges.
Wyatt said he contacted Cappello’s defense attorney Joseph Stogner in January 2016. Wyatt said he was testifying today to make the truth known and help the victims’ families.
Wyatt said he currently is serving eight years in prison for all his convictions.
The trial resumes Monday morning.