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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, July 15, 2001

Neighbor Island briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Passenger may be sent to Iran

WAILUKU, Maui — A passenger suspected of disrupting a flight to Maui is in federal custody and faces possible deportation to his native Iran.

Amir Amirsaleh, 45, faces a hearing before a federal immigration judge, who will decide if he should be deported, said Immigration and Naturalization Service district director Donald Radcliffe.

Amirsaleh was arrested Thursday and turned over to the FBI after he allegedly pinched or touched a flight attendant. The U.S. attorney's office declined to prosecute him.

However, officials discovered that Amirsaleh, who was living in Los Angeles, apparently had overstayed his tourist visa by about two years.

Amirsaleh was aboard a SunTrips charter from San Francisco that stopped in Honolulu en route to Maui Thursday morning. Investigation and a search of the plane delayed the return of the plane to San Francisco 13 hours, and passengers were put up in Maui hotels.

The search was initiated by Ryan International Airlines, which provides the plane and services to SunTrips, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Tweet Coleman.

Kaua'i killer gets life with parole

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Matthew Blankswade, who testified that he shot his girlfriend's sleeping father, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Blankswade, 22, told police he entered Jeffrey Brisebois' Wainiha Valley home June 26, 2000, with his girlfriend, Amber Brisebois. He told police he used a shotgun and fired into the sleeping man's face.

Blankswade made a plea agreement with prosecutors that involved the dismissal of other charges, including the theft of the murder weapon and other firearms.

The state parole board will set his minimum sentence.

Although Blankswade said he committed the murder at the urging of his girlfriend, police never charged her. Prosecuting attorney Michael Soong said "there are no other suspects."

Blankswade said Amber Brisebois was a part-owner of the family land and wanted her father off the property.