A New Jersey man repeatedly shot his brother, fatally stabbed his brother’s wife and two young children, and then set their mansion on fire in a familial quadruple homicide, Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said Thursday.
The suspect, Paul Caneiro, is also accused of setting his own home on fire with his family inside in an attempt to create an illusion that the entire family was being targeted, the prosecutor said.
Caneiro, 51, was charged with four counts of murder, one count of aggravated arson, one count of possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a knife, Gramiccioni said. The charges were first laid out Thursday morning in a complaint filed in Colts Neck Township, New Jersey, records show.
Gramiccioni alleged that Paul Caneiro first shot and killed his younger brother and business partner Keith Caniero outside of Keith’s residence in Colts Neck on November 20. The remaining members of the family — Keith’s wife Jennifer and children Jesse, 11, and Sophia, 8 — were fatally stabbed inside the residence, Gramiccioni said.
He has not entered a plea, the records show.
Caneiro already faced one arson charge
Paul Caneiro was charged last week with one count of second-degree aggravated arson for allegedly trying to burn down his own house early on the morning of November 20 in Ocean Township, New Jersey, while his family was inside. His family survived the fire.
It was not immediately clear whether the arson charge listed in the complaint filed Thursday relates to the Ocean Township fire or is an additional arson charge.
The emergency call for the Colts Neck mansion fire came in at 12:38 p.m. — more than seven hours after the Ocean Township fire — and more than 20 fire departments responded.
Caneiro’s attorney, Robert Honecker, last week defended his client against the initial arson charge and any additional charges.
“My client maintains his innocence on this charge and any other potential charges,” he told CNN on Saturday. “His family fully support his defense of this charge. He fully expects to be vindicated when this case finally resolves.”
Paul and Keith Caneiro are listed as the sole officers of a company that involved the sale and service of computers, New Jersey business records show.
The pair registered an Asbury Park-based company named Jay-Martin Systems that was doing business as “Square One,” records dating to 2014 show. A 2007 filing indicates that Keith was the company’s president.
The brothers were best friends who talked almost daily, Honecker told CNN, adding he had no reason to believe there was animosity between them.