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Two more suspects arrested in Forestville triple homicide

Published: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 9:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:21 p.m.

A father and son who share ties to central Colorado with a third man already in custody have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with a Feb. 5 triple homicide near Forestville, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

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Francis R. Dwyer (shown), wanted in connection with the Feb. 5 triple slayings in Forestville, has been arrested.

COURTESY OF SONOMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Francis R. Dwyer, 65, and Odin Leonard Dwyer, 38, were taken into custody Tuesday morning and are being held in New Mexico and Colorado jails respectively, pending extradition to Sonoma County, authorities said.

Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary held out the possibility that other suspects might have been involved, but said he did not anticipate additional arrests.

"We went from a complete whodunit to three arrests in three weeks," O'Leary said, praising the work of his investigators.

The Dwyers are the same men pictured in surveillance photographs distributed by O'Leary last week after cameras at gas stations in Nevada and Wyoming linked them to the earlier suspect, Mark William Cappello of Central City, Colo.

Authorities believe the trio traveled from Colorado to Sonoma County before meeting Feb. 5 at a small house off Ross Station Road between Sebastopol and Forestville, where three other men were gunned down.

The younger Dwyer is a friend of Cappello, who was arrested Feb. 14, O'Leary said. Cappello apparently brought the Dwyers in on a would-be marijuana sale that instead turned into a triple slaying, O'Leary said.

Cappello, 46, was himself brought in by an acquaintance named Todd Klarkowski, a resident of Boulder, Colo., and one of the three men killed, O'Leary said.

Investigators have developed evidence that Klarkowski, 42, and another victim, Long Island, N.Y., resident Richard Lewin, 46, had been partners for some years in the drug trade, O'Leary said.

He said there is evidence Sebastopol native Raleigh Butler, 24, the third victim, also had been selling marijuana, though how he hooked up with Klarkowski and Lewin was unclear.

The Dwyers were were caught on surveillance footage at a St. Helena Chevron station the day before the three victims were slain.

That night, a partial grouping of the six men met for dinner at a Sebastopol restaurant, though O'Leary would not say where. The owner of Hopmonk Tavern has confirmed he turned over surveillance footage from inside the restaurant to investigators, though he did not know what it yielded.

But the next day, the six men apparently met at the home rented by Butler's mother, who was not present.

They were there ostensibly so the out-of-state victims could purchase a large quantity of marijuana, which would have entailed a substantial sum of money.

O'Leary would not say if the cash or any marijuana had been accounted for. He said earlier that no money and only a small amount of marijuana was found at the crime scene.

He also would not comment Thursday on the role the three murder suspects were to have played in the pot deal, nor whether they planned ahead of time to rob the others present or may have opened fire because the deal went awry.

Investigators raided Cappello's home in the tiny mountain community of Central City, about an hour's drive from Boulder, the night before he was arrested outside Mobile, Ala.

Detectives had traced him to the Gulf Coast, and he was arrested when Mobile County detectives pulled him over on a traffic violation and found a stop-and-hold order issued by Sonoma County, authorities said.

The Dwyers both were arrested on suspicion of murder and other charges in the early hours of Tuesday morning with help from local agencies, O'Leary said.

"They both surrendered without any problems," he said.

Francis Dwyer, who runs a website promoting "Personal Growth, Spiritual Development and Unity!" and claims on his Facebook page to be a former scoutmaster, has lived in various Denver-area towns but was arrested at an RV park in the southern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences, located a straight shot down Interstate 25 from the Denver/Boulder area.

O'Leary said authorities recovered evidence from the Sonoma County crime scene in New Mexico.

The elder Dwyer was held Friday at the Sierra County Detention Center in New Mexico, pending an extradition hearing, a detention center spokesman said.

His son has no current address, but was arrested Tuesday at a residence outside Denver.

Both are being held without bail while awaiting extradition to Sonoma County, he said. Their arrests were not made public until Friday in an effort to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

The case took detectives far away from Sonoma County. Some have been out of state and away from their families for several weeks and still are on the road, O'Leary said.

Cappello should be returned to Sonoma County in the next few days, he said.

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