Man Accused in New Jersey Mansion Massacre 'Loved His Brother' and Would Never Have Hurt Him: Lawyer

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Paul Caneiro, the 51-year-old businessman accused of killing his brother and his family, appeared in court Friday, his hands shackled to a heavy leather belt. 

Caneiro sat stone-faced as he was formally read the charges he faces in the murders of his brother, Keith Caneiro, Keith's wife, Jennifer, and their two children, as well as counts related to allegedly setting alight their Colts Neck, New Jersey, mansion and his own Ocean Township home. 

He gave only brief answers as the judge asked him a series of questions and appeared to be limping as he was led out of the courtroom.

Prosecutors announced Thursday they believe Paul shot his brother and business partner, Keith, 50, repeatedly in the early hours of Nov. 20. He then allegedly turned his attention to 45-year-old Jennifer, and their children, 8-year-old Sophia and Jesse, 11, stabbing them repeatedly. 

After that, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said, Paul allegedly set a fire in the home's basement in an apparent attempt to destroy evidence. He allegedly took some items to his own home, which he then allegedly set aflame as well, with his own wife and children inside. They made out it alive, but Keith and his family were not so lucky. 

The second blaze was about more than just allegedly destroying evidence, however, prosecutors said. "That fire was effectively a ruse designed to make it appear as if the overall Caneiro family was somehow targeted," Gramiccioni said.

The suspected motive for the crime? A financial dispute, Gramiccioni said. He did not elaborate. 

Paul's lawyers insist he is innocent of all charges and Paul has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

"Paul Caneiro loved his brother, loved his sister-in-law like a sister, loved those children, and would never do anything to harm them," said lawyer Mitchell Ansell. 

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