Murderer won’t see parole for at least 45 years

LIHU‘E — The Hawai‘i Paroling Authority has determined that convicted murderer Matthew Blankswade should serve at least 45 years of his life sentence for brutally killing his girlfriend’s father, Jeffrey Brisebois.

During the early morning hours of June 26, 2000, Blankswade broke into Brisebois’s Wainiha home, and armed with a stolen shotgun shot and killed Brisebois in the skull at short range while he was sleeping. He pled no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole by Judge Clifford Nakea on July 12, 2001.

“We’re extremely pleased with the Paroling Authority’s decision in this horrendous case” said Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho after receiving the ruling. “We hope the extended sentence will provide relief and comfort for Brisebois’s family after this senseless tragedy.”

Iseri-Carvalho appeared for the state at a May 31 hearing of the Hawai‘i Paroling Authority to reset Blankswade’s minimum term of imprisonment. 

Court-appointed counsel Don Wilkerson represented Blankswade, who appeared by video from Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona.

Iseri-Carvalho highlighted the premeditated nature of the murder and the cold and callous way in which Blankswade carried it out. 

She argued that he prepared himself by stealing guns and practicing shooting in the days leading up to the killing. 

Dressed in camouflage and under the cover of darkness, Blankswade then approached the victim’s remote home and shot him within two feet of his head while he lay defenseless. After the murder, he spent the day at the beach and later had dinner with the victim’s family, apparently unaffected by the heinous crime he had just committed.

Wilkerson argued that Blankswade was remorseful and noted his young age at the time of the killing. He also noted the lack of criminal record and participation in college classes while incarcerated.

When asked by a board member as to the reason for killing Brisebois, Blankswade replied, “He was not a nice guy…I wanted to be the hero.”

The Paroling Authority issued an order on June 1, 2012 setting Blankswade’s minimum term to expire on June 26, 2045. 

Since he was 21 years old at the time of the homicide, Blankswade will be 66 years of age before becoming eligible for release if he serves the minimum term.

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