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Man Accused of Killing Brother, Brother's Family Enters His Plea

Paul Caneiro pleads not guilty on the same day his lawyers withdraw from case
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2019 3:41 PM CDT
Paul Caneiro appears for his arraignment in the murders of his brother and his brother's family, before Judge Joseph W. Oxley at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold, NJ Monday, March 18, 2019....   (Tanya Breen/NJ Advance Media via AP, Pool)
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(Newser) – A New Jersey businessman accused of killing his brother, his brother's wife, and their two children pleaded not guilty Monday to felony murder and other charges, the same day his defense attorneys withdrew from the case due to recently discovered conflicts of interest. Michael Wicke, the new lawyer for Paul Caneiro, 52, entered the pleas on his behalf during a five-minute court hearing in Freehold, New Jersey, the AP reports. A prosecutor says the state plans to pursue life in prison without parole. Monmouth County prosecutors have said Caneiro's brother, Keith, was planning to cut him off financially because he was suspicious of Paul over missing money from two companies they owned at the Jersey shore. The next day, Nov. 20, Keith Caneiro and his family were found dead in their burning mansion in Colts Neck.

An indictment handed up late last month charges Paul Caneiro with murder, felony murder, aggravated arson and a weapons offense. He also faces counts of theft, misapplication of entrusted property and hindering his own apprehension. Caneiro had previously been represented by private attorneys Robert Honecker Jr. and Mitchell Ansell, who maintained his innocence. However, they said they determined they could no longer represent him because a review of materials recently released by prosecutors found "at least two separate and clear" conflicts of interest. The attorneys' statement did not specify those conflicts, and they declined to elaborate on the matter after the hearing. Caneiro will now be represented by the public defender's office, NJ.com reports. (More on the alleged evidence against Caneiro here.)


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