The Hawai‘i Paroling Authority has determined that a Kauai man convicted of killing his girlfriend’s father in 2000 must serve at least 45 years of his life sentence.
Matthew Blankswade was convicted in 2001 of the fatal shooting of Jeffrey Brisebois.
The Kauai Prosecutor’s Office said that during the early morning hours of June 26, 2000, Blankswade broke into Brisebois’s home on Powerhouse Road in Wainiha, armed with a stolen shotgun.
Blankswade, then 21, shot Brisebois in the head as he was sleeping, killing him, the prosecutor said.
Police arrested Blankswade that evening. He admitted to the killing after failing a polygraph examination, the prosecutor said.
He pleaded no contest and was convicted of second-degree murder.
The Paroling Authority held a hearing May 31 and issued its decision on June 1, setting the minimum term.
According to a news release from County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, when a Paroling Authority member asked Blankswade why he killed Brisebois, Blankswade replied, “He was not a nice guy. … I wanted to be the hero.”
Blankswade who appeared at the hearing by video from Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy, Ariz.
Iseri-Carvalho told the authority that Blankswade prepared himself by stealing guns and practicing shooting in the days leading up to the killing. After the murder, Iseri-Carvalho said, Blankswade spent the day at the beach and had dinner with the victim’s family, apparently unaffected by the heinous crime he had committed.
Defense lawyer Don Wilkerson argued that Blankswade was remorseful and noted his young age at the time of the killing, lack of criminal record and participation in college classes while incarcerated as factors in favor of leniency.