FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County grand jury has returned a 16-count indictment against the brother of a Colts Neck man who was found dead along with his wife and two children just days before Thanksgiving, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
The indictment charges Paul J. Caneiro, 51, of Ocean Township, with four counts of first degree Murder, two counts of first degree Felony Murder, two counts of second degree Aggravated Arson, one count of second degree Possession of a Weapon (Firearm) for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of third degree Possession of a Weapon (Knife) for an Unlawful Purpose, one count of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Firearm), one count of fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Knife), one count of second degree Theft, one count of second degree Misapplication of Entrusted Property and two counts of third degree Hindering Apprehension of Oneself, in connection with the slaying of his brother Keith Caneiro, 50, his sister-in-law Jennifer Caneiro, 45, his nephew Jesse, 11, and his niece Sophia, 8, on Nov. 20, 2018.
The joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Colts Neck and Ocean Township police departments has expanded to include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Paul J. Caneiro remains detained pending trial in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township.
If convicted of Murder, Caneiro faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole on each count. Felony murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA). Aggravated Arson carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, also subject to the provisions of NERA. The remaining second degree offenses each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, while the third degree offenses each carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Wallace.
Defendant is being represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq., and Robert J. Honecker, Jr. Esq. of Ocean Township.
Investigators continue to seek additional information about the case. Anyone with information about the Colts Neck murders and arson is asked to call Detective Patrick Petruzziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Richard Zarrillo of the Colts Neck Police Department at 732-780-7323.
Anyone with information about the Ocean Township arson is urged to call Detective Brian Weisbrot of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Christopher Brady of the Ocean Township Police Department at 732-531-1428.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.