Man pleads not guilty in quadruple murder, arson case

Man pleads not guilty in quadruple murder, arson case
FILE - This Nov. 21, 2018, booking file photo provided by the Ocean Township Police Department shows Paul Caneiro. Authorities filed charges Thursday, Nov. 29, against Caneiro, the brother of a man whose body was found along with his wife and children after their New Jersey mansion was set on fire. (Ocean Township Police Department, File)

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey businessman charged with killing his brother and the brother’s wife and two children has pleaded not guilty.

Paul Caneiro (kah-NEH’-roh) entered his plea during a brief court hearing Friday. He faces four counts of murder, along with arson and weapons charges, in the Nov. 20 deaths of his brother Keith; Keith’s wife, Jennifer; their 11-year-old son, Jesse; and their 8-year-old daughter, Sophia.

The family members were shot, stabbed or both at their mansion in the wealthy community of Colts Neck. Authorities say Caneiro then set the mansion on fire.

Prosecutors say a financial dispute led to the deaths. But Caneiro’s lawyer says his client was devoted to his family, adding there “is no reason in the world” why he would kill them and torch their mansion.