Murder trial set for week following Thanksgiving

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

Court.

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

murder.

Blankswade cried and confessed to authorities that he fired the

fatal shot during a police interrogation on July 8, investigators said.

He

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

criminal indictment.

Despite giving conflicting statements to police,

Brisebois has denied any involvement in her father’s killing, according to

police documents.

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

$500,000 bail.

Jeff Brisebois’ death was first reported as a

suicide.

Staff writer Dennis Wilken can be reached at 245-3681 (ext.

252).

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