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Plea Deal Dropped for Springfield, Vt., Man

White River Junction — After announcing that plans for a plea deal had crumbled, lawyers made plans in court Tuesday to move toward a trial in the case of a Springfield, Vt., man charged in connection with a 2008 shooting death in Windsor County.

Timothy Arbuckle, 33, pleaded not guilty in March to charges that he committed second-degree murder by acting as an accessory to Kyle Bolaski in the death of Vincent Tamburello Jr.

Bolaski, who has said he shot Tamburello in self-defense after Tamburello chased him with a splitting maul in Chester, Vt., was convicted in 2011 of second-degree murder, but the Vermont Supreme Court overturned that conviction earlier this year, citing flaws in the proceedings.

Bolaski is currently out on bail and awaiting a new trial, which is scheduled to begin in April.

Tuesday’s hearing for Arbuckle was originally scheduled as a “change of plea” hearing, but in court, prosecutor John Lavoie and defense attorney Stephen Craddock said that Arbuckle was not able to fulfill one of the obligations of a plea agreement.

They did not address the nature of the obligation in court and declined to specify it afterwards.

In court, Lavoie asked Judge Harold E. Eaton Jr. to schedule Arbuckle’s trial for the month after Bolaski’s is set to take place, but Craddock argued that May was too long for his client to wait and that Arbuckle’s trial is independent of Bolaski’s.

After some discussion, Eaton instructed the lawyers to try to be trial-ready by Jan. 1.

Prosecutors have alleged Arbuckle, who appeared in court on Tuesday and is being held at Southern State Correctional Facility, kicked Tamburello as he lay dying. Craddock said the charge was upgraded from simple assault to second-degree murder without prosecutors filing any additional affidavits.

Arbuckle has also pleaded not guilty to a perjury charge in connection with the case.

Maggie Cassidy can be reached at mcassidy@vnews.com or 603-727-3220.

Correction

Vincent Tamburello Jr. was shot and killed during an altercation that took place in Chester, Vt., in 2008. An earlier version of this story gave the wrong location.