FREEHOLD – The Ocean Township man charged with the murders of his brother, sister-in-law, and two children in Colts Neck is pleading not-guilty to all charges against him.
Deputy Assistant Public Defender Michael Wicke entered not-guilty pleas for all 16 charges against Paul J. Caneiro, 52, on March 18. Wicke joined Caneiro at an arraignment on March 18 before Judge Joseph W. Oxley at the Monmouth County Courthouse.
Also on March 18, Caneiro’s attorneys, Robert A. Honecker Jr. and Mitchell Ansell of the Ocean Township law firm Ansell, Grimm and Aaron, withdrew from his case due to “conflicts of interests.” No details as to the conflicts of interest were presented, claiming it would prevent Caneiro from receiving a fair trial.
Caneiro was charged with four counts of murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated arson, possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a knife for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a knife, two counts of hindering his own apprehension, the theft of more than $75,000 from the Caneiro family, and the misapplication of $78,180 of the Caneiro family’s funds.
Police reports state that Caneiro shot his brother in the head and the back at his home on Willowbrook Road in Colts Neck, before entering the home and stabbing Jennifer and the two children. Law enforcement believes Caneiro then set fire to the Willowbrook Rd. house to cover his tracks before returning to his own home on Tilton Drive in Ocean Township.
According to Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, Caneiro’s motive for the horrific crime was financial in nature. Caneiro and his brother were business partners at a tech company in Asbury Park. A recent indictment alleged that Caneiro stole more than $75,000 from his brother’s family.
Caneiro could be facing life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted.
A conference in the case is scheduled for April 12.