Colorado man arrested, accused in California triple murder case

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Mark Cappello

DENVER — A man from Central City, Colo. was under arrest Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. accused of murdering three people in California.

Mark William Cappello, 46, has been the subject of a major crime investigation in Sonoma County, Calif.

“Cappello is a suspect in a triple homicide that occurred in Forestville, California on February 5, 2013,” a statement from the Central City police department says.

He’s accused of killing three men, including another Colorado man, in what investigators say was to have been a drug sale in a rural home.

The dead men were identified as Todd Klarkowski, 42, of Boulder, Colo., Raleigh Butler, 24, of Sebastopol, Calif. and Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y.

Detectives from California spent a week in Colorado gathering evidence and conducting interviews related to the murders.

They executed a search warrant at Cappello’s home in the 200 block of Third High St. in Central City on Wed. Feb. 13.

The next day, Cappello was arrested without incident in Mobile, Ala.

Officers there say his arrest happened almost by accident as he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop on Interstate 10. The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif. reports It wasn’t until they ran his license plate they realized Sonoma County issued an order to seize his vehicle for a search warrant.

“After Cappello’s arrest, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office detectives traveled to Alabama to conduct a forensic examination of his vehicle and collect possible evidence. Cappello declined to be interviewed by the detectives when they arrived in Alabama,” the statement says.

Cappello remained in Alabama awaiting transfer to the Sonoma County, Calif. Jail. Investigators have not said if he knew Todd Klarkowski, who lived in Boulder. Central City is about 40 miles from Boulder.

The Press Democrat reports Cappello is a member of the Central City/Black Hawk Preservation District.


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