FREEHOLD — The man accused of killing his brother and brother's family, then setting their Colts Neck home on fire, pleaded not guilty to murder charges at his arraignment on Monday.

Paul Caneiro was charged by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office with four counts of first-degree murder in the November death of Keith and Jennifer Caneiro, their 8-year-old daughter Sophia, and 11-year-old son Jesse, who were all found dead at their Colts Neck mansion on Nov. 20 after a multi-alarm fire broke out.

Keith Caneiro's body was found shot outside the home on Willow Brook Road. His family was found inside.

Paul Caneiro also used gasoline to set his own Ocean Township home on fire as his wife and children slept inside, according to authorities. Paul Caneiro's immediate family survive that blaze, which authorities say was a diversion from the overall crime.

During his appearance In Monmouth County Superior Court on Monday, Paul Caneiro was represented by a public defender, Michael Wicke of Freehold. His previous attorney, former Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Robert Honecker Jr., recused himself from the case due to undisclosed conflicts of interest.

According to an affidavit unsealed last month and indictment, an office manager for the Caneiro brothers' shared business, said that the two brothers been arguing for the past year over money. Keith Caneiro discovered that money was missing from the business and he stopped payment to his Paul Canerio's wife until it could be located, the affidavit says. Keith Caneiro was also frustrated with the amount of the business' money that Paul Caneiro spent, the affidavit says.

The indictment indicates that Paul Caneiro was "purposely or knowingly applying or disposing of" more than $78,000 entrusted to him in an unlawful fashion.

Material from the Associated Press was used from this report.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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