LIHU’E – One of two suspects – including the daughter of the victim – who were
arrested by Kaua’i police last Saturday for the murder of Jeff Brisebois, 48,
in Wainiha has confessed to committing the crime.
After failing a polygraph
test and making conflicting comments to police investigators, Matthew David
Blankswade, 21, of Wainiha, admitted shooting Brisebois with a shotgun as the
victim slept in his home on Wainiha Powerhouse Road on the morning of June 26,
according to court documents.
After killing Brisebois, police said,
Blankswade threw the 12-gauge shotgun onto property next to Brisebois’
four-acre kuleana property by Wainiha Stream. With the help of Blankswade,
police later recovered the alleged murder weapon.
The man’s daughter, Amber
Brisebois, 18, of Wainiha, also helped plot the man’s murder, according to
documents that said she hated her father and wanted to seize control of his
property. She had planned with Blankswade, her boyfriend, to either have either
her father evicted legally from the property or to have him killed, authorities
Blankswade was arraigned in Lihu’e District Court yesterday on a
second-degree murder charge.
State Judge Clifford Nakea scheduled a
preliminary hearing for the suspect for 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
said Amber Brisebois also failed a polygraph test administered by the Honolulu
Police Department, but because of lack of evidence, she was released by Kaua’i
If sufficient evidence surfaces to warrant an arrest, she
could be indicted for murder by a Kaua’i grand jury, police officials
She and Blankswade were arrested by police last Saturday on second
-degree murder charges and were confined at the Kaua’i Community Correctional
Center in Wailua after they failed to post a $20,000 bail.
be held at the jail until his preliminary Thursday.
During a police
interview at the Hanalei substation last Saturday, Blankswade confessed to
killing Jeff Brisebois, police reported.
According to court documents,
Blankswade relayed this information:
* One night before the murder, Amber
Brisebois drove him to a lot in Kilauea where he broke into a container and
stole weapons and ammunition.
During a search of a home the couple occupied
on Brisebois’ property, police confiscated a 20-gauge shotgun, a double-barrel
shotgun, a .22-caliber lever-action rifle, a .357-magnum revolver, a 9 mm-semi
automatic weapon and several bullets and shotgun shells.
It is not known
whether the 12-gauge shotgun used in the murder was among those weapons stolen
from the Kilauea lot.
* Ben Blankswade, the suspect’s 16-year brother,
Summers Krenzer, 21, Amber Brisebois and the suspect went to the end of
Powerhouse Road and fired all the weapons. All four lived in one of three homes
on the dead man’s property.
* On the morning of the day Jeff Brisebois was
killed, Matt Blankswade retrieved the murder weapon from the northeast corner
of the victim’s property, where it had been hidden.
* Blankswade entered
Jeff Brisebois’ home through a side door and went to his bedroom. While Amber
Brisebois waited at the entranceway, the suspect walked up to the victim and
shot him while he slept.
According to police investigators, the muzzle was
within 24 inches of the victim’s face before the shot was fired.
suspect and Amber Brisebois then left the house and went to the area where
Blankswade had initially retrieved the weapon and threw it and the spent casing
into the Waniha Stream.
* The suspect said he went back to their home on
the victim’s property, panicked and became sick. But the victim’s daughter told
Blankswade not to worry and that neighbors, who had been feuding with him over
access to his property, would be blamed for the murder.
One of the
neighbors, however, has told The Garden Island that they had no part in Jeff
* Between 8 and 9 a.m., Amber Brisebois told the suspect
they needed to go back into the victim’s home to check to see whether Jeff
Brisebois was dead.
* The suspect went back into the home and pulled the
body, which had been laying on its right side, onto its back side. Confirming
the victim had died, the suspect returned to his home.
* That evening,
Amber Brisebois “pretended” to find the body when she informed Mike and Ingrid
Oliva, two other people who lived in another home on the four-acre lot and were
friends with the victim, of her father’s death.
* The suspect asked his
brother, Ben Blankswade, to throw away the weapons and ammunition,
Blankswade and Krenzer knew nothing about the plan to kill
During the same interview with police on July 8, Blankswade also
* While living on the mainland, he and Amber Brisebois had
discussed the possibility of moving to Kaua’i to take over her father’s
* Amber hated her father and wanted to figure out a way to get
him off the property. They considered these options: Ask Jeff Brisebois to
move, ask him to move into one of the other homes on the lot, hire an attorney
to have Jeff Brisebois legally removed, or, as a last resort, kill
Police also based their arrests on conflicting information given by
Amber Brisebois and the suspect. Authorities said:
* She told one officer
she had not heard the shot fired, but told another officer she had heard
* Blankswade said Amber Brisebois and Krenzer were with him in the
bathroom of the home they occupied when the shot was fired. He later said he
* Amber Brisebois told police she had just gotten off work when
she went to her father’s house and found him dead.
said they learned she had taken the day off.
* On June 26, Amber Brisebois
said she brought a video rental tape to her father’s home to see if the victim
wanted to see it. Police found it odd that she would take the tape to him when
it was scheduled to be returned to the video store in 30 minutes.
became aware of Brisebois’ death after Mike Oliva, a neighbor, reported after 8
p.m. that he had found the man’s body and thought that it was a
Oliva said his wife, Ingrid, heard a gunshot from the direction of
Brisebois’ home before sunrise on June 26, but wasn’t concerned because weapons
are periodically fired in nearby mountains and valleys. As a result, neither he
nor his wife went to the victim’s home to check on Brisebois.
Brisebois told police she was the first to enter the home after the shot was
fired, after 5 p.m. that day, and found her father. She ran to Ingrid Oliva’s
home and asked her for help.
Ingrid Oliva and Amber went back into
Brisebois’ home, and after seeing a large wound to the right of the victim’s
face, they left and waited for Oliva’s husband to return from work.
Oliva called police, which began a 13-day investigation leading to the
“It was like a Hollywood movie,” said one police
Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681
(ext. 225) or firstname.lastname@example.org