Suspect arraigned inBy Anthony Sommer
killing of girlfriends
LIHUE -- A preliminary hearing is set tomorrow for Matthew Blakeswade, 21, charged with shooting his girlfriend's father in the face with a shotgun as he slept in his north shore Kauai home early in the morning of June 26.
Blakeswade was arraigned yesterday in Kauai District Court and pleaded innocent to a second-degree murder charge in the death of Jeffrey Brisebois, 48, a longtime Kauai resident. The charge could be increased to first-degree, premeditated murder.
Amber Brisebois, 18, Brisebois' daughter and Blakeswade's girlfriend, was released yesterday pending further investigation. She told police she was not involved in her father's death, although a polygraph examination -- which can't be used in court -- indicated she was being untruthful, police documents said.
Blakeswade confessed to the murder Saturday, according to police documents on file with the court. He said he shot Brisebois, who was asleep on a mattress on the floor of his home, while Amber Brisebois stood in a doorway and watched. Both were arrested Saturday afternoon.
Police documents leave the motive for the killing somewhat vague. Blakeswade told police Amber Brisebois told him she hated her father and wanted to take his property by a variety of means, including murdering him.
Brisebois lived alone on Powerhouse Road in an isolated mountainous area in the Wainiha Valley. His daughter and Blakeswade, Blakeswade's brother Ben and his girlfriend Summers Krenzer shared another house on the property. A third house was occupied by another couple.
Brisebois, who had been involved in lengthy legal battles with some of his neighbors over property lines, worked part time as a landscaper, but a friend interviewed by police said his main income came from farming marijuana.
"He had not had a good year in some time," the friend was quoted as telling detectives.
According to the police reports, Amber Brisebois initially told police she discovered her father's body late on the afternoon of June 26 after she returned from work. She said she went to offer to loan her father a rented video before she returned it.
Detectives said they found Amber Brisebois had taken that day off from work and the video store where she said she obtained it had no record of her having a movie rented at that time.
Detectives also said in reports filed with the court that when they went to interview a former employer of Blakeswade's and asked whether he owned a shotgun, the man went to the storage container where his firearms were stored and found two shotguns missing.
Blakeswade told police he had stolen the guns and had thrown the one he used to kill Brisebois into a nearby creek.
Although several searches were conducted for the weapon, the documents left it unclear whether police found it.