WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Recently released documents appear to undermine a Chester man's assertion he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a Springfield man Sunday night.
Kyle D. Bolaski, 24, has been held on $100,000 bail since pleading innocent Monday in White River Junction District Court to charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
According to documents filed with the court, Bolaski asserted he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Vincent R. Tamburello Jr. in the parking lot of MacKenzie Field. Court records state multiple witnesses saw Tamburello chase Bolaski with an ax before Bolaski drew a rifle from his pickup and shot Tamburello.
Bolaski told police he always carries a rifle in his truck because he likes to hunt coyotes when he is out scouting for deer. However, new documents appear to poke holes in both Bolaski's claim of self-defense and that the rifle just happened to be in his truck.
Court records state Bolaski told police he twice shot Tamburello as Tamburello approached him with an ax.
After studying the body, the deputy chief medical examiner determined Tamburello was shot twice — once in the upper leg and once in the lower back. The medical examiner's report told police the wound to Tamburello's back caused his death, court records state.
Police affidavits state that multiple witnesses and Bolaski himself told police he had fired the first shot into Tamburello's leg. Bolaski told police Tamburello continued to advance upon him but two witnesses told a different story.
Kristina Morgan, 19, and Casey J. Brickey, 24, both told police that after being shot in the leg, Tamburello retreated from Bolaski. According to court records, Brickey said Bolaski was chasing Tamburello with a gun in his hand before he fired the first shot, and in his opinion, Bolaski had not acted in self-defense.
Police have released a report detailing an interview with a man who was with Bolaski immediately prior to the shooting. On Monday, police interviewed Tristan Blanchard, 22, of Chester, who told police that the day before the shooting Tamburello had come to his house and there had been an incident that left Blanchard afraid of Tamburello.
Blanchard told police that on Sunday, he received a phone call from either Bolaski or his brother Cory Bolaski, 22, and the Bolaski brothers — along with Jerry Ucci, 21 — picked up Blanchard in Cory Bolaski's pickup.
Blanchard said there was a rifle in Cory Bolaski's truck when they picked him up, court records state.
Blanchard told police Ucci called Tamburello and the two had a "heated" conversation, with the two agreeing to meet at Mackenzie Field, court records state. However, Cory Bolaski's truck was low on gas, so before meeting Tamburello they drove to Cory Bolaski's house to get Kyle Bolaski's truck. While there, Blanchard told police, Kyle Bolaski transferred the rifle from his brother's truck to his own, Cory Bolaski got a second rifle from inside his house and the four went to the park to meet Tamburello, court records state.
Due to the new reports from the medical examiner and the police, Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand filed a motion asking the court to increase Bolaski's bail from $100,000 to $250,000.
"The back-to-front direction of travel of the fatal shot undermines (Bolaski's) claim that the deceased was pursuing him and he fired the fatal shot in self-defense," Sand wrote in his bail review request. "Additionally, although (Bolaski) claims the guns were in his vehicle as a result of an earlier deer scouting trip, newly received information makes clear the guns were deliberately placed in (his) truck in anticipation of a confrontation. (Bolaski's) anticipation of the confrontation and the arranged placement of the guns further undermine the self-defense claim."
Judge M. Kathleen Manley will review Bolaski's bail at 9 a.m. Wednesday in White River Junction District Court.
While it remains unclear what happened Sunday night at Mackenzie Field and even less clear what brought Bolaski and Tamburello there in the first place, at least one member of Tamburello's family is convinced Bolaski did not act in self-defense.
"They lured him there to kill him," said Tamburello's cousin, John Michael, of Brockton, Mass. "The thought of him being lured there broke my heart. He was so gullible. You could tell him anything and he'd believe it.
"I've seen him take on four or five guys and be the last guy standing," Michael continued. "These guys brought guns because nobody could beat Vinnie Tamburello."