Judge OKs Bail For Bolaski
White River Junction — A Windsor Superior Court judge has ruled that Kyle Bolaski, the Springfield, Vt., man whose second-degree murder conviction was overturned by the Vermont Supreme Court, can be released on $100,000 bail with conditions as he awaits a new trial.
The decision issued by Judge Karen Carroll on Monday says that although the state has the right to withold bail in this case, Bolaski’s “ties to the community and the support from his father and others outweighs any risk of flight posed by the knowledge that he was previously convicted of the murder charge.”
Bolaski’s father, David Bolaski, said in an email that he started making arrangements to post bail as quickly as possible after he learned of the decision Monday afternoon.
“We were thrilled with the court’s decision and believe the judge gave sound reasons pertaining to it,” Dave Bolaski said. “Kyle called earlier and he was obviously extremely happy. My intentions are to post the bail as soon as arrangements can be made.”
The decision returns Bolaski’s bail status to what it had been prior to the 2011 trial, in which Bolaski said he shot Vincent Tamburello Jr. once in the leg and once in the buttocks in self defense after Tamburello chased him with a splitting maul in Chester, Vt., in 2008. David Bolaski previously paid the $100,000 bail at two different points in the original proceedings, he said.
The $100,000 bail is cash or surety, meaning Bolaski and his family could either pay the $100,000 or seek a bail bondsman who will guarantee the $100,000 for a percentage. David Bolaski said he does not use a bail bondsman.
Deputy Franklin County State’s Attorney John Lavoie, the prosecutor in the case, declined to comment on Monday.
Following the initial conviction, Bolaski began serving a 25-years-to-life sentence and was incarcerated in Kentucky, but Vermont’s high court ruled in April that the judge presiding over that case, Patricia Zimmerman, who is now retired from the bench, gave erroneous jury instructions and wrongly excluded evidence about Tamburello’s mental health at the time of the incident.
A toxicology report showed Tamburello had a number of drugs in his blood and urine, including Xanax, THC, methadone, Paxil, Restoril, Oxazepam and canabanoids, according to the decision.
When Bolaski, now 30 years old, was returned to a Vermont prison for a status hearing last month, Lavoie sought for Bolaski to have no bail because he argued that the initial conviction gave Bolaski greater incentive to flee.
Carroll agreed during that hearing and gave Bolaski no bail, but Bolaski’s attorney, Brian Marsicovetere, argued that his client deserved a full bail hearing and challenged the decision to the state’s high court, who ordered a bail hearing.
Carroll accepted about 100 minutes of verbal testimony during a full bail hearing earlier this month, including testimony from David Bolaski vouching for his son.
The younger Bolaski would live at his parents’ home if released, David Bolaski said at the time. He argued that his son had made the best of prison by being accepted into an honors program that trains dogs for rehabilitation.
Carroll also accepted prosecutors' findings of disciplinary infractions during Bolaski’s prison time, but noted that “they all occurred within a brief period of time” after his first conviction and his record has been clean in prison for the past two years.
Carroll altered her stance in Monday’s decision, writing that “while what has transpired in this case may have opened the defendant’s eyes to the unpredictability of a jury trial, the reversal and remand have set up a retrial with instructions and evidence potentially more favorable to (Bolaski).”
David Bolaski said he was pleased with the direction that proceedings were heading.
“The next step for Kyle will be to meet with his attorneys to prepare for trial,” he said. “Hopefully, with the admission of medical records, as the Supreme Court dictated in their decision, the jury would have a clearer picture on what actually took place.”
Maggie Cassidy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3220. Staff writer Sarah Brubeck contributed to this report.