Dispute Between Partners of Napa Valley Winery Leads to Murder-Suicide

A dispute over an unpaid loan led to the deaths of a Napa vineyard owner and his business partner

Robert Dahl, 47, shot his business partner Emad Tawfilis, 48, several times, and later killed himself. 

An argument about money between the business partners of a Napa Valley winery turned deadly this week when owner Robert Dahl of Dahl Vineyards chased investor Emad Tawfilis through the vineyard in an SUV, “shooting at him the whole time,” reports Wine-Searcher.

Tawfilis, who had already been shot once by Dahl, was running on foot through the property while being pursued by Dahl in a Toyota SUV. As sheriff’s deputies were arriving, Dahl got out of his car, “walked up to Tawfilis, and shot him in the head, killing him.”

For a brief time, Dahl then attempted to evade the authorities, letting local deputies pursue him by both car and helicopter. Turning onto a mountain road, Dahl drove into a wooded area; by the time authorities reached him, he had committed suicide.

According to Wine-Searcher, the dispute originated over an unpaid loan by Dahl, for which Tawfilis had filed a lawsuit. The men had arranged to meet at 11 a.m. on Monday morning with their lawyers to discuss the matter. Shortly after 11:30, Tawfilis called 911 to report that he had been shot and was being chased.


Court documents filed by Tawfilis indicate that Dahl was the subject of interest in a number of fraud cases in Minnesota, and was facing similar accusations in Napa County.