Vermont man involved in softball field killing headed to prison on probation violations


Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-18-2022 10:20 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Springfield, Vt.-area man who had been out on probation after he pleaded guilty for his involvement in the death of a man in Chester nearly 14 years ago will spend more time in prison for violating his probation conditions.

Timothy Arbuckle had his probation revoked and underlying sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to violating the conditions of his probation last year in Windsor County Superior Court in White River Junction on Wednesday.

Arbuckle, who was initially charged with second-degree murder as an accessory in the death of Vincent Tamburello Jr. on a softball field in Chester in 2008, eventually pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault and was given a five- to 12-year sentence, all suspended but for three years, in 2020.

But Arbuckle, a few months after he walked out of a White River Junction courtroom, was discovered to be operating his vehicle without its interlock device — a breathalyzer connected to the ignition system — and then later that year failed to make appointments with his probation officer, both alleged offenses in violation of his probation conditions, according to court records.

In 2020 warrants were issued for Arbuckle’s arrest, but he wasn’t apprehended until 2021, when Vermont State Police and Chester police, with the help of a police dog, located him hiding in a bed frame in a hotel room in Londonderry, Vt., news outlets reported at the time.

Arbuckle was taken into custody and has been incarcerated since at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt.

“After the second violation (Arbuckle) was gone for quite some time, and the state of Vermont actually had to get the federal marshals involved in order to find him,” Emily Zukauskas, Windsor County deputy state’s attorney, said in court on Wednesday.

“He was ultimately located, hiding in a mattress in a hotel room. There’s no indication that he intended to turn himself in at any point in time,” she said.

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The charges stem from an incident in August 2008 when Arbuckle, Springfield man 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.

Arbuckle pleaded guilty in February 2020 to a charge of aggravated assault for kicking Tamburello as he lay dying on a softball field in Chester in 2008. He also pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the conditions of his release.

A month earlier, in January 2020, Bolaski, 36 at the time, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to seven to 15 years in prison for his part in the killing.

Bolaski is incarcerated at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport, Vt., and is eligible for release beginning July 19, 2023, according to state prison records.

Under the plea deal for violating probation conditions, Judge John Treadwell imposed the underlying 5- to 12-year sentence that Arbuckle received on the aggravated assault plea, with credit for time allowed by law. As part of the agreement, Treadwell ordered charge of operating a vehicle without the interlock device dismissed.

Contact John Lippman at