Murder or self-defense focus of Upper Valley trial
West Lebanon, New Hampshire - May 16, 2011
A murder trial in the Upper Valley enters its second week. A Springfield man admits he shot and killed another man nearly three years ago, but says he had to in order to save his own life.
Much of Monday's trial focused around the testimony of Corey Bolaski, the brother of the accused -- Kyle Bolaski. Corey was on the Chester ball field with his brother the day of the shooting. He says the shooting victim, Boston-native Vincent Tamburello, ran at his brother with an ax and swung it at him, nearly missing his head.
"I saw Kyle -- went like this -- and the ax came in and barely missed him," Bolaski testified.
Defense lawyers say their client feared for his own life and ultimately killed Tamburello in self-defense. But prosecutors say Corey Bolaski has changed his story. Police recordings from the day of the incident were played for the court where he made no mention of Tamburello swinging the ax in the direction of his brother.
The incident stemmed from a fight from the previous night which neither Bolaski was a part of. Other witnesses testified Monday that Tamburello showed up at the field to settle the score and that he was indeed wielding an ax. According to witnesses, Tamburello ran at a group gathered at the field and began striking the ax against Kyle Bolaski's truck. But Christina Morgan, an eyewitness to the shooting, testified that things changed once Kyle Bolaski pulled out a gun -- a 30-06 high-powered riffle. "Once he realized that Kyle had the gun he froze," Morgan said.
Morgan said Bolaski shot Tamburello once, hitting him in the leg. At that point, she said Tamburello began to flea. "I don't remember him turning around but I remember him always facing Kyle and backing away," she testified.
Prosecutors say Bolaski chased Tamburello around the truck and shot him again-- this time in back. Prosecutors say it ended up being the fatal blow. A 911 call just after the shooting was played for the court.
Caller: "The guy that got shot -- his name is Vinnie."
911 Dispatcher: "Are you with him right now?"
Caller: "I don't really know him so I don't want to go near him, but he's laying on the ground. He's moving his arm."
Evidence that Tamburello's mother did not want to hear. She left the court before it was played. "The emotional toll it takes on the family, not just me and my wife, but the whole family is incomprehensible,' said Vincent Tamburello, Vincent's father.
It's a trial that almost did not happen. A grand jury found that there was not enough evidence for a murder charge. But after pressure from the Tamburello family, a new prosecutor filed the charges. The Tamburello's say just the fact the trial is taking place is in some ways justice for their son.
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