Saturday, May 5, 2001

Trial postponed for
Kauai shooting suspect

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> The trial of Matthew Blankswade, 22, accused of second-degree murder in the shotgun slaying of his girlfriend's father, has been delayed.

Blankswade was scheduled to go on trial Monday. On Thursday, in the middle of a hearing to determine whether his confession could be used as evidence in the trial, Blankswade asked for a delay so he could consult by telephone with his parents, who live in Half Moon Bay near San Francisco.

Yesterday, Edwin Acoba, deputy public defender representing Blankswade, said his client told him his parents would fly to Kauai this weekend and hire a private attorney.

Judge Clifford Nakea canceled Monday's scheduled trial and set a status hearing for Tuesday.

Blankswade is accused of shooting Jeffrey Brisebois, 48, in the face with a 12-gauge shotgun as Brisebois slept in his remote Wainiha home early on the morning of June 26.

Blankswade later confessed to police detectives, telling them Brisebois' daughter, Amber, 18, planned the murder and stood in a doorway watching as he shot her father. Blankswade said Amber Brisebois wanted her father dead so she and her friends could live in the house he was occupying.

Amber Brisebois did not confess and has not been charged with any crime.

Police said she lied repeatedly about her activities on the day of the killing.

Acoba said yesterday he has been unable to locate her as a potential witness in Blankswade's trial.

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