Plea deal slated for man charged as accessory in fatal ballfield shooting

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/10/2020 10:00:46 PM
Modified: 2/10/2020 10:03:49 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A 39-year-old Windsor County man is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday in a long-running case related to charges he kicked another man as he lay dying after being shot on a Chester, Vt., softball field almost 12 years ago.

Timothy Arbuckle is due back in Windsor County Superior Court for a plea and sentencing hearing Tuesday afternoon. Former Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill, who is returning to oversee the resolution of the case, declined to comment on what charge Arbuckle is expected to plead to and how much prison time — if any — he could expect. 

Arbuckle, who is currently out on bail and is from the Chester-Springfield area, is facing charges of second-degree murder, perjury and several violations of conditions of his release in relation to the death of Vincent Tamburello Jr. 

The charges stem from an incident in August 2008 when Arbuckle, Kyle Bolaski and several other people met Tamburello, whom they’d been sparring with, on the Chester field, according to prosecutors. Tamburello, who a toxicology report later revealed had several drugs in his system, started chasing Bolaski with a splitting maul and Bolaski shot Tamburello in the leg and buttocks, causing him to bleed to death.

Bolaski was charged with murder and Arbuckle, whom prosecutors have said kicked Tamburello as he lay dying, was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly acting as an accessory to the crime.  Arbuckle has pleaded not guilty.

The case against Bolaski initially went to trial in 2011, though the conviction was overturned by the Vermont Supreme Court in 2014. During the trial Arbuckle allegedly lied on the stand, resulting in the perjury charge, according to prosecutors.

Arbuckle’s plea deal comes almost a month after Bolaski pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter in Windsor County Superior Court in January.

Bolaski was sentenced to seven to 15 years for the crime, but with credit for time spent, he could be incarcerated for as little as 3 ½ years.

Arbuckle has been incarcerated several times since his initial arrest and prison officials would have to calculate how much time he could credit toward a future sentence, according to prosecutors. 

Anna Merriman can be reached at or 603-727-3216.

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