Judge Rejects a Bid to Revoke Bail

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

White River Junction — A Windsor Superior Court judge has denied a motion to revoke the bail of a 37-year-old Springfield, Vt., man who is charged in connection with a 2008 shooting death in Chester, Vt.

Prosecutors filed a motion last month saying Timothy Arbuckle violated his conditions of release on several occasions and should be held without bail pending trial, something Arbuckle’s attorney disputed. Judge Elizabeth Mann sided with the defense at the end of a hearing on the matter on Monday and released him.

Arbuckle has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge that alleges he acted as an accessory to Kyle Bolaski in the death of Vincent Tamburello Jr., at a softball field in Chester, Vt., in 2008.

Prosecutors allege Arbuckle kicked Tamburello as he was dying. Bolaski, who also has pleaded not guilty, said he shot Tamburello in self-defense after Tamburello chased him with a splitting maul. The Vermont Supreme Court overturned a second-degree murder conviction of Bolaski, citing flaws in the proceedings. Bolaski currently is awaiting a new trial.

Arbuckle’s former girlfriend, Jennifer Johnson, took the stand on Monday at Arbuckle’s motion hearing and testified that he violated his conditions by moving from his approved residence, drinking on a nightly basis and having other people blow into his vehicle’s ignition interlock device, which tests for alcohol on a person’s breath before a car or truck will start.

Arbuckle has multiple convictions of driving while intoxicated in both New Hampshire and Vermont. He has several condition violations pending, as well as a perjury charge. In this case, Arbuckle first faced a simple assault charge before prosecutors upgraded it.

The violation allegations come from the same source — Johnson — and there is minimal evidence to corroborate her testimony, Mann said from the bench.

Franklin County Deputy State’s Attorney John Lavoie held up photographs in court that showed Johnson blowing into the device in order to start the vehicle.

“The photographs are concerning, but I don’t think they are determinative,” Mann said.

She denied the motion, saying there are conditions that could be put in place to ensure the safety of the community and Arbuckle.

She ordered Arbuckle remain inside an approved residence from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.; have no contact with Johnson; abstain from alcohol use; and not leave the state, unless for verifiable work or travel, as well as a few other conditions.

Lavoie and Arbuckle’s attorney, Robert Sussman, both argued their points prior to the judge’s ruling.

“What we have is documented evidence that Ms. Johnson was helping him circumvent his interlock device,” Lavoie said. “Now we have seen him violate those conditions repeatedly.”

Sussman said Johnson wasn’t a credible source, and the judge agreed that her truthfulness was called into question at times.

The date of Arbuckle’s next court hearing wasn’t immediately known.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.