COLTS NECK, NJ - Paul Caneiro has been charged with murder. In a ghastly Cain and Abel tale, he is charged with killing his younger brother Keith. That's not all, according to police:
He killed his younger brother's wife Jennifer. He killed is young nephew Jesse who was only 11. Little Sophia was killed and was only 8 years old. He is charged with killing their entire family - and then he burned the house down.
Keith Caneiro, was found with a gunshot wound outside his smoldering mansion on Willow Brook Road, authorities have said.
Jennifer Caneiro, and the couple's two children, Jesse, 11, and Sophia, 8, were found inside the $1.5-million dollar home, according to authorities.
That's what the police say as Paul Caneiro has now been charged with four counts of murder in the tragic Colts Neck arson and murder case. A press conference is scheduled for 11AM by the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office. Paul Caneiro, sitting in a jail cell, hired defense attorney Bob Honecker. Honecker previously claimed his client's innocence in trying to burn down his own home (he was charged with Aggravated Arson).
He is also a well known and well regarded criminal defense attorney. Honecker has had high profile cases. He just landed one of perhaps the highest profile cases of his career. Honecker was hired by Paul Caneiro.
The incarcerated Paul Caneiro is the brother of the murdered Keith Caneiro. He is now charged with killing him, his wife and two young children.
The men were business partners in two companies, Square One, a technology consulting firm, and EcoStar Pest Management, a pest control firm, both in the same building on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park.
Keith Caneiro, his wife and two children were murdered and their home was set ablaze by arson. Keith was shot to death. Reports state the others may have been stabbed to death.
Earlier on the same day, Paul Caneiro's home was also set ablaze by arson. Paul's family was in the house. He was arrested for setting his own house on fire and sits in the Monmouth County jail. According to a statement by the Monmouth County Prosecutor, in the Ocean Township blaze, Paul J. Caneiro, 51, is charged with purposefully setting fire to his Tilton Drive home early Tuesday morning while his wife slept in a second floor bedroom.
Ocean Township police and fire responded to 27 Tilton Drive in the Wayside section of Ocean Township on a report of smoke inside the residence around 5:01 a.m. First responders arrived on scene to discover fire to the rear of the residence and second smaller fire on the garage door attached to the home. Caneiro, his wife and two children were all outside their residence when first responders arrived.
A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office and Ocean Township Police Department determined the fire is of an incendiary nature.
During a previous interview with CNN, Honecker said his infamous client is an innocent man. "My client maintains his innocence on this charge and any other potential charges," Honecker told CNN this week.
"This family was targeted" said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni. He confirmed that the family who owned the house at 15 Willow Brook Road in Colts Neck, Keith and Jennifer Caneiro and their two children, were victims of "homicidal violence". Reports indicate gunshots, stabbings and arson.
"This is one of the most heinous cases we've ever seen," Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said during the press conference Wednesday. "All were victims of a homicide."
Paul's Caneiro's fire at his own home started at about 5:20AM. That is the fire he was arrested for setting. Honecker disagrees with the charge. "His family fully support his defense of this charge. No evidence has been produced that suggests a reason why he would engage in such conduct. He fully expects to be vindicated when this case finally resolves." said Honecker to CNN.
At about 12:45PM of the same day of the fire Paul Caneiro was charged for setting, a different fire began to roar through 15 Willow Brook Road in Colts Neck. This was the home of Paul's brother Keith, his sister-in-law Jennifer, his 11 year old nephew Jesse and his 8 year old niece, Sophia.
In this instance, sadly, Keith, Jennifer, Jesse and Sophia were killed before the fire even started, according to officials. They never had a chance. The killer, according to police, is a member of their own family.
A community at a loss for words, seeking comfort and coming together as a community to support a family well respected and loved.
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