PLEASANTON -- A popular youth golf instructor accused of molesting some of his teenage students pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges he tried to hire a hit man to kill his three alleged victims.

Andrew Nisbet, 32, appeared before an Alameda County Superior Court judge Tuesday at the Gale Schenone Hall of Justice, an Alameda County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman said.

The Livermore resident is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on July 9 and remained held without bail at Santa Rita Jail.

Prosecutors say Nisbet wrote letters to someone who he thought would help him kill three of his victims. The plan collapsed when a confidential informant gave Nisbet's letters to a sheriff's deputy in late February.

Andrew Nisbet  (Livermore Police Department)
Andrew Nisbet (Livermore Police Department) ( mdufrene )

Tipped to Nisbet's intentions, officials sent an undercover inspector posing as a hit man to the jail a week later. There, Nisbet instructed the man to "take care of" two of the victims and make the slayings look like robberies gone wrong, they said.

Ten days after the meeting, authorities served a search warrant on Nisbet's cell at the jail, turning up a letter with driving directions to one victim's home in Pleasanton, and "many" other letters between Nisbet and the confidential informant discussing the murder-for-hire plot.

Prosecutors have not said how much Nisbet pledged to pay for the killings.

In late April, prosecutors added solicitation of murder counts to Nisbet's charges, which already include lewd acts with minors, arranging sexual meetings with minors and possession of child pornography.


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Nisbet was arrested last December and charged with molesting three teenage boys. Prosecutors say that the nationally recognized youth golf coach abused his victims between 2007 and 2012, sometimes in the parking lot of the golf course where he taught, at his home and on out-of-town golfing trips.

Nisbet's alleged victims were between the ages of 12 and 17 at the time they were abused. Authorities say that Nisbet showed the boys pornography, though it has not been alleged that he showed them the child pornography later found in his possession.

Before his arrest, Nisbet was recognized by the U.S Kids Golf Foundation as a "Top 50 Master Teacher." He also directed the U.S. Kids Golf Bay Area Tour, a series of one-day tournaments for children ages 5 to 14. He was arrested December 7, a day before he was set to receive the North California Section of the PGA 2013 Junior Golf Leader Award.

Contact Natalie Neysa Alund at 510-293-2469. Follow her at Twitter.com/nataliealund.