MONMOUTH COUNTY, NJ (CNN) – Investigators have revealed an accused murderer’s possible motivation after charging him with the killings of his brother, his brother’s wife and their two young children – then allegedly setting their New Jersey mansion on fire in an attempt to cover up the murders.
"The defendant repeatedly shot and killed his brother while he was outside of the side of his home, and then moved to murder the rest of the family inside the home," said Christopher J. Gramiccioni, the Monmouth County prosecutor.
Paul Caneiro has been charged with killing his younger brother and business partner Keith Caneiro, his brother’s wife Jennifer, and their two young children, 11-year-old Jesse and 8-year-old Sophia.
"Jennifer was shot and stabbed, and the two Caneiro children were repeatedly stabbed by knife," Gramiccioni said.
Caneiro is now facing four counts of murder, among other charges.
Officials said his motivation to murder was money, and that he tried to cover up the murders by setting two mansions on fire – first his brother’s, then his own, while his own family was still inside.
Paul Caneiro’s family survived.
Gramiccioni said Caneiro set the fires “for the purpose of both destroying evidence of his earlier crimes ... and to also create the illusion that the overall Caneiro family was somehow victimized or targeted. We allege that it was a ruse."
Caneiro claims he’s innocent. His lawyers echoed that claim, releasing this statement: “He would never hurt any member of his family... Paul’s expectations are when this case is over he will be completely vindicated and the truth will come out.”
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