Monmouth man charged in suspicious arson delays court hearing
FREEHOLD BOROUGH — The Monmouth County man accused of setting fire to his own home with his wife and daughters inside has requested a few more days before he appears before a judge who will determine whether he will be released from jail pending trial.
Paul Caneiro, of Ocean Township, has been held since last Tuesday at the Monmouth County Jail on a charge of aggravated arson. Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said he poured gasoline around the Tilton Avenue home and lit it up about 5 a.m.
Prosecutors are investigating whether the Ocean Township fire is related to the quadruple homicide and fire at the Colts Neck home of Caneiro's brother. Caneiro has not been charged in connection with the slayings of his brother and his family.
Caneiro's Superior Court hearing is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, according to Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Chris Swendeman, who said a reason was not given. The defense and prosecutors are permitted to ask for an adjournment without providing a reason. Honecker did not immediately return a request seeking comment Tuesday.
Paul Caneiro's lawyer, Robert Honecker, told the Asbury Park Press that the family may testify on his behalf about his efforts to save them from the fire. Honecker told the newspaper that his client is innocent of both the arson charge and any other charges that he could face related to either fire.
Keith and Jennifer Caneiro, their 8-year-old daughter Sophia and 11-year-old son Jesse were all found dead at their Colts Neck mansion hours after the Ocean Township blaze. Gramiccioni said they were killed before the fire was set. Keith Caneiro's body was found shot outside the home on Willow Brook Road while his family was found inside.
"This family was targeted," Gramiccioni said last week. "This is one of the most heinous cases we've ever seen. All were victims of a homicide."