Perjury charge added in 2008 murder case
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | December 07,2013
PHOTO BY ERIC FRANCIS
Timothy Arbuckle of Chester, shown here in court in July, has been charged with perjury over testimony he gave at a 2011 murder trial in Windsor County.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A perjury charge has been filed against a key witness in a 2011 murder trial involving the shooting death of a Massachusetts man at a baseball field in Chester.
Timothy Arbuckle, 33, a lifelong resident of Chester, has been in jail since this summer when he was arraigned on a felony charge of aiding in the commission of a felony in the death of Vinnie Tamburello, 33, five years ago.
Tamburello was shot twice with a rifle by Springfield resident Kyle Bolaski, who was convicted and sentenced in 2011 to serve 25 years for second-degree murder.
The new charge filed against Arbuckle this week by special prosecutor John Lavoie hinges on Arbuckle’s trial testimony in which he denied kicking Tamburello after he was shot at the Chester ballfield in 2008.
Arbuckle had just testified that Tamburello had smashed the windows out of Bolaski’s pickup with a splitting maul when Bolaski shot him with a rifle. Bolaski then struck the fallen Tamburello two or three times in the face with the butt of the rifle, Arbuckle testified.
“So you didn’t kick him,” Lavoie asked.
“I never even went up to Vinnie,” Arbuckle testified.
“Not even close to him?” Lavoie asked.
“No,” Arbuckle responded.
A short time later Arbuckle challenged witness accounts, recounted by Lavoie, that Arbuckle kicked the dying Tamburello in the head.
“So you’re saying that some people, some material witnesses, said they might have saw me go up and kick him when it was 8 o’clock at night and everybody had been drinking and we all had the same uniform on?”
“That’s what I’m saying,” Lavoie said.
“Right, OK,” Arbuckle replied.
“So you’re saying that just didn’t happen?” Lavoie countered.
“That you weren’t even close to him?” Lavoie said.
“No sir. I was a truck-length away,” Arbuckle replied.
In his affidavit supporting the perjury charge, Lavoie listed five witnesses, including the shooter, Kyle Bolaski, who told police they had seen Arbuckle kicking the fallen Tamburello.
“I believe (Tim Arbuckle) kicked him many times. I’m not sure how many,” Bolaski told the grand jurors in 2008, according to a court transcript.
“I only kicked him a couple of times just to make sure he was down,” he added. “I didn’t want him to get back up. I don’t know why Tim came over. Doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Arbuckle, who is jailed for lack of $20,000 bail, faces up to 15 years in prison for the new perjury charge and more than 25 years for all the charges against him.