Second juror dismissed in murder trial — (Vermont Today)

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Vermont Today

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Kyle Bolaski murder trial took another turn as Judge M. Patricia Zimmerman dismissed another juror from the case on Wednesday.

During the early morning recess, Zimmerman was informed that one of the jurors asked a local attorney for “tips on the jury process.” All jurors were instructed to not seek outside help during the trial. Franklin County State’s Attorney John Lavoie and defense attorneys Kevin Griffin and Elizabeth Kruska had no problems with removing the juror and an alternative was selected.

This is the second juror to be dismissed in the case. Last week, a juror was dismissed after she admitted to following the November 2008 grand jury. Earlier in the case, a grand jury dropped second-degree murder charges against Kyle Bolaski of Chester, who shot and killed Vincent Tamburello of Springfield in an August 2008 confrontation at MacKenzie ball field in Chester. According to court records, the grand jury found that the shooting was in self-defense and Bolaski should be tried for aggravated assault. Windsor County State’s Attorney Robert Sand left the case and Lavoie agreed to try Bolaski for second-degree murder and aggravated assault with a weapon.

The state wrapped up its testimony on Wednesday morning and the defense requested that the charges against Bolaski be thrown out. Griffin argued that Bolaski acted in self-defense when Tamburello chased him with a splitting maul and did damage to his truck. Lavoie said the state has enough evidence to convict Bolaski and insisted the trial proceed. Zimmerman agreed.

“There are numerous witnesses who believe Bolaski was the shooter, that Tamburello died, and the shooting was unlawful. There is no dispute,” Zimmerman said. “Some said they saw (an object) in motion to Tamburello’s face and there is also physical evidence of that.”

The defense’s first witness was Dr. Patricia Daly, a psychiatrist and pharmacology expert who conducted blood and urine tests on the autopsy. Although her testimony was brief, Daly provided the court with information on Tamburello’s body at the time of his death. According to Daly, Tamburello’s blood contained Xanax, an anxiety-reducing medication; THC, a marijuana byproduct; methadone, a known pain medication; Paxil, an anti-depressant; and nicotine. Tamburello’s urine sample also tested positive for Xanax, methadone, and traces of marijuana.

Ben Millay of Springfield was the second person called to the stand Wednesday, testifying that on Aug. 16, 2008 he saw Tamburello in Chester. Millay said Tamburello “was angry” at him over a text message. The next morning, Millay said he discovered his tires slashed.  Millay said when he later talked to Tamurello on the phone, Tamburello threatened him before hanging up.

The trial continues today at criminal court in White River Junction.

christian.avard @rutlandherald.com