No suspects yet in death of Wainiha man

HA’ENA — Jeff Brisebois, 48, of Wainiha, was identified by Kaua’i police as

the man who was found dead at his home on Powerhouse Road in Wainiha Monday


Police investigators have given no official cause of death, but a

neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said Brisebois died from a possible

gunshot wound, probably Monday morning.

Brisebois’ neighbor said his wife

heard a gunshot from the direction of Brisebois’ home, but wasn’t concerned

because weapons are commonly fired by hunters in the area.

As a result,

neither he nor his wife, the neighbor said, went over to the victim’s house to

check on him. “Three other people I know also heard the shot,” the man


The victim’s adult daughter checked in on Brisebois and found her

father motionless, the man said.

“She witnessed something that was not

right,” he said. “She was scared and came over to get my wife.”

He said

he, his wife and Brisebois’ estranged wife initially thought Brisebois had

committed suicide and called police for help after 8:15 p.m.

The threesome

weren’t entirely convinced Brisebois had taken his life.

All six detectives

from the department were at the scene Monday searching for clues in the case,

KPD’s Lt. Bill Ching said. At this point, police have no suspects, he


Police remained tight-lipped about their investigations and have not

released many details.

Brisebois, who was a part-time landscaper, has a

track record with the police department and the Kaua’i court system.


the last 12 years, Brisebois has been arrested on criminal charges, including

assault, resisting arrest and obstructing government operations.

He also

been entangled in at least three lawsuits with neighbors over access to his

kuleana property, said to be about five acres, located mauka of Wainiha

Powerhouse Road.

The lawsuits:

* In 1988, Henrietta Phillips, a

neighbor of Brisebois, sued the victim and others for refusing to permit her

use of a road to gain access to her landlocked property.

The lawsuit

claimed Brisebois also constructed a bridgehead and a road on the woman’s

property without her permission. In both cases, Brisebois ignored demands from

Phillips to remove the structures, the lawsuit claimed.

The lawsuit also

claimed Brisebois illegally had erected two power utility poles on Phillips’

property without her permission.

The lawsuit said Brisebois had plans to

build a private commercial electric power facility on his property and to sell

excess electricity to Kauai Electric, who was also named in the


Neighbors of Phillips also were named in the lawsuit.

* In 1992,

Brisebois and his wife, Mary, claimed his neighbor, Brysone K. Nishimoto,

prevented them from gaining access to their property and sued


Brisebois said the government’s partitioning of the Ahupua’a of

Wainiha assured an easement, including vehicular use, from the Wainiha

Powerhouse Road to his property.

But the road was destroyed in 1972, when

considerable bulldozing of lots in the area caused him to lose vehicular use of

the roadway.

In 1985, Nishimoto allowed Brisebois to complete a vehicular

bridge that had been started in 1972 and gave him a five-year lease for

vehicular access to Brisebois’ property.

After the lease expired in

January 1991, Brisebois repeatedly asked Nishimoto for a permanent vehicular

access, but Nishimoto declined.

In both civil cases, which were combined,

a judge’s decision ruled in favor of the defendants, saying Brisebois had no

easement rights over two of the parcels owned by Nishimoto.

* In September

1996, contractor Eddie Soltren sought and won a temporary restraining order

against Brisebois.

Soltren claimed Brisebois harassed him and engaged in

malicious activities between 1995 and 1996.

Soltren claimed Brisebois

placed a wire barricade across a bridge that prevented Soltren from getting to

his property. Soltren also said his access was blocked when Brisebois removed

parts of the bridge.

After obtaining a temporary restraining order against

Brisebois, Soltren sought a permanent injunction, but was denied by a state

judge in January 1997.

In March of that year, Brisebois sought a temporary

restraining order against Soltren and another man for allegedly interfering

with Brisebois and his employees, who were relocating a bridge off a lot near

his lot.

Brisebois said he was later threatened by Soltren.

Soltren and

others then dismantled the bridge, and when Brisebois and others tried to

repair the bridge, Brisebois said attempts were made to run him over with a

vehicle and rocks were thrown at him.

In March 1997, a judge granted a

temporary restraining order against Soltren, pending a hearing for a permanent

injunction .

In connection with criminal incidents:

* In 1997,

Brisebois was charged with obstructing government operations and resisting


* Brisebois, in 1999, was charged with assault, trespassing and

criminal property damage.

A friend of Brisebois said the victim was focused

on preserving access to his property, which he cherished and owned with his

grown children.

“I don’t know what his wars were,” said the friend, who

asked not to be identified. “But I liked him. He was a good man.”


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