Ruling Doesn’t Affect 2nd Suspect’s Charges
White River Junction — The state Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn a murder conviction in a 2008 shooting death in Chester, Vt., won’t affect the charges against a second defendant in the case, the prosecutor said.
Timothy J. Arbuckle, 33, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Vincent Tamburello Jr.
Authorities allege Arbuckle acted as an accessory to Kyle Bolaski, who was convicted of murdering Tamburello in 2011.
However, the Vermont Supreme Court overturned that conviction last month and ordered a new trial for Bolaski. Last week, Windsor Superior Court judge Karen Carroll ordered Bolaski to be held without bail while awaiting that trial.
Bolaski has said he shot Tamburello once in the leg and once in the buttocks in self-defense after Tamburello chased him with a splitting maul during a dispute in 2008 at a Chester, Vt., park.
Prosecutors have alleged that Arbuckle kicked Tamburello in the head while he lay dying.
Deputy Franklin County State’s Attorney John Lavoie and Arbuckle’s attorney, Stephen Craddock, met for a status conference on Wednesday in Windsor Superior Court. While the status conference was brief and Arbuckle was not present, Lavoie said afterward that he plans to continue with the charges against Arbuckle.
Craddock has asked that Arbuckle’s trial be scheduled after Bolaski’s retrial.
The Supreme Court, in reversing Bolaski’s conviction, determined that the judge gave improper jury instructions and excluded evidence about Tamburello’s mental health prior to the shooting.
A toxicology report showed the presence of a number of drugs in Tamburello’s system, including Xanax, THC and other cannabinoids, methadone, Paxil, Restoril and Oxazepam.
In an interview after the hearing, Craddock gave little indication whether his defense would use the evidence of drugs in Tamburello’s system to support Arbuckle’s defense.
“We use whatever information we feel is relevant and pertinent to our defense,” said Craddock, who only recently became Arbuckle’s attorney.
Arbuckle was originally charged with a misdemeanor assault charge, which was then upgraded to aiding in the commission of a felony in May 2013. In January, the charge was upgraded to second-degree murder.
Craddock said prosecutors have upgraded the charge without new evidence to justify it.
Arbuckle also is charged with perjury for allegedly making false statements during Bolaski’s 2011 trial.
Arbuckle is currently being held at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt. Another status conference is scheduled for June 17, and Carroll requested that Arbuckle be present.