Editor's note: Because of an editor's error, this story incorrectly characterized some of the allegations against Livermore youth golf coach Andrew Nisbet. Officials say that Nisbet showed his victims adult pornography, though not while performing sex acts on them.
DUBLIN -- As popular youth golf instructor Andrew Niset sat in jail facing dozens of charges he molested some of his teenage students, prosecutors say he took part in a shocking scheme: Hiring a hit man to kill his three alleged victims.
The plan collapsed, authorities said, when a confidential informant gave Nisbet's letters seeking a contract killer to a sheriff's deputy in late February. Tipped to Nisbet's intentions, officials sent an undercover inspector posing as a hit man to the jail a week later. There, talking together using telephone handsets, Nisbet instructed the man to "take care of" two of the victims and make the slayings look like robberies gone wrong, they said.
Tuesday, 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. He remains at Santa Rita Jail where he is being held without bail.
It was the latest stunning twist in the case of the 32-year-old Livermore resident, 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.
A probable cause document filed in court and released Tuesday says that initially, Nisbet began exchanging letters with someone he thought he could hire to kill his victims. After the informant tipped off a sheriff's deputy at the jail, the deputy sent the letters to the Alameda County District Attorney's office on Feb. 25.
The letters contained information about the three boys, and asked to have them "taken care of, which from my training and experience means he is asking to have the victims killed," according to the sworn statement from Inspector Jeff McCort. Eight days later, a county investigator visited Nisbet in jail while undercover, posing as a hit man.
The investigator told Nisbet "that he was a mechanic and could fix a car for him and made a pistol-shooting motion with his hand," according to the statement.
Nisbet mouthed the victims' names to the "hit man," and told him that one lived in Pleasanton and one attended college in Santa Barbara. He promised to pay upfront to show he was serious, according to the statement. Nisbet also suggested that the investigator take the victims' cellphones, so that their murders would appear like a robbery.
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 and would not comment further on the court filings Tuesday.
Nisbet's attorney, Timothy Rien, did not respond to a call for comment Tuesday. Jeff DeBenedetti, who is a contractor at the city-owned Las Positas Golf Course, where Nisbet was an instructor, declined to comment.
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.
Nisbet is due back in court for his next hearing on June 10.