Mark Cappello
Mark Cappello ( Kent Porter )

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against one of three men charged in a February 2013 triple murder that claimed the life of Boulder resident Todd Klarkowski and two others, the Sonoma County district attorney announced in California.

Investigators allege that Mark Cappello, 47, of Central City, was the triggerman in a marijuana deal gone awry. Cappello is charged with first-degree murder.

"Given the facts of the case, as well as input from the death review committee and the victims' family members, I have decided that this case warrants seeking the ultimate penalty," District Attorney Jill Ravitch stated in a news release. "It will be up to a jury of Sonoma County residents to determine whether the death penalty is appropriate in this case involving the alleged execution of three unarmed individuals for the purpose of financial gain."

Todd Klarkowski
Todd Klarkowski

Klarkowski, 43, was shot and killed execution-style along with Raleigh Butler, 24, of North Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Richard Lewin, 46, of Huntington, N.Y., in the Forestville, Calif., home of Butler's mother, who was out of state at the time.

Also arrested in the case were Cappello's alleged accomplices, Francis Dwyer, 66, of Truth and Consequences, N.M., and his son, Odin Dwyer, 39, of Black Hawk. The Dwyers, like Cappello, are charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Police say they think Lewin and Klarkowski had conspired to purchase 100 pounds of pot from Butler, and that Cappello, with the Dwyers, had been hired to transport the contraband to New York. Cappello, however, is alleged to have pulled a double-cross, murdering the three men with the intent of stealing the marijuana and cash.

This is the first time the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office has sought the death penalty since 1995.

A trial is set for Sept. 19.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1327 or brennanc@dailycamera.com.