LIHU’E – The Kaua’i man accused of killing his girlfriend’s father as the
victim slept entered a not guilty plea Tuesday morning in Fifth Circuit
Matthew David Blankswade, 21, entered the plea through his attorney,
public defender Ed Acoba.
According to Kaua’i County Police reports,
Blankswade confessed he shot Jeff Brisebois, 48, once in the head at his
Wainiha home on the morning of June 26.
The murder weapon was allegedly a
12-gauge shotgun, discarded by the shooter but later recovered by police
investigators on Brisebois’ four-acre property.
Blankswade, wearing an
orange jail jumpsuit, his hands cuffed in front of him, showed no emotion
during Tuesday’s brief court appearance.
He is charged with second-degree
Blankswade cried and confessed to authorities that he fired the
fatal shot during a police interrogation on July 8, investigators said.
has remained in custody ever since.
Acoba objected to a trial date of Oct.
30, telling Judge George M. Masuoka that he hadn’t received written reports or
taped transcripts related to the case.
County prosecutor Craig deCosta told
the judge the defense had everything the prosecution had.
Masuoka then set
the trial date for Nov. 27, the week after Thanksgiving.
During the initial
police investigation in late June, Mike Oliva, a friend of the victim, said
Brisebois told him he wanted Blankswade off his property, according to
authorities. Oliva also told police Brisebois had expressed a fear of “Matt”
and that such an admission was quite unusual because the victim was not afraid
of many people, police said.
Amber Brisebois, 18, the victim’s daughter who
lived on the property with the accused killer, was arrested with Blankswade on
July 8 and charged with second-degree murder in the death of her father. Police
said Blankswade alleged that she hated her father and wanted him either evicted
from his property or dead.
Police said Amber Brisebois failed a polygraph
test administered by the Honolulu Police Department, but she was released three
days after her arrest due to what authorities said was lack of evidence for a
Despite giving conflicting statements to police,
Brisebois has denied any involvement in her father’s killing, according to
Acoba, who has been a public defender on Kaua’i since
1988, said he couldn’t comment further on the case.
Blankswade remains in
custody at the Kaua’i Community Correctional Center in Wailua in lieu of
Jeff Brisebois’ death was first reported as a
Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be reached at 245-3681 (ext.