Paul Caneiro, the 52 Ocean Township man accused of brutally murdering his brother Keith and Keith’s family last November before setting their Colts Neck home ablaze in an ill fated attempt to hide his crimes, was arraigned in Monmouth County Superior Court this morning, according to an announcement on Twitter by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Caneiro pleaded not guilty to all 16 counts of his indictment, including quadruple murder, before Superior Court Judge Joseph W. Oxley in Freehold.
The Prosecutor’s Office announced that Caneiro is now represented by Michael Wicke Esq., of Freehold, a public defender. The defendant has been previously represented by Mitchell Ansell and Robert Honecker of Ansell, Grimm and Aaron of Ocean Township.
#Alert : Please be advised that Paul J. Caneiro, 52, of Ocean Twp. had his arraignment this morning in front of Judge Oxley. Caneiro pleaded not guilty to all 16 charges, including quadruple murder. Caneiro is now being represented by Michael Wicke Esq., of Freehold. #mcponj
— Monmouth Prosecutor (@MonCoProsecutor) March 18, 2019
Honecker and Ansell issued the following statement regarding their stepping down as Paul Caneiro’s defense counsel:
Today, based on our motion to the Court, Ansell Grimm & Aaron, PC sought and was granted relief as counsel for Paul J. Caneiro. We did so after great debate and discussion within our Firm and after having reviewed the rules governing the representation of clients contained in the Rules of Professional Conduct.
After having thoroughly reviewed the discovery recently released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and material compiled through our own investigation into the events of November 20, 2018, it became clear that there existed at least two (2) separate and clear conflicts of interest for this firm’s continued representation of Paul J. Caneiro.
We brought our concerns to the attention of both the Prosecutor’s Office and the Trial Judge assigned to this case. Both agree with this firm’s assessment that in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct contained in R.P.C. 1.7 and R.P.C. 1.9, our continued representation of Mr. Caniero would be impossible at this time.
We take this action regrettably and firmly believe that Paul J. Caneiro is entitled to his day in Court. We have discussed this matter thoroughly with our client and he understands and is in agreement with this decision. We unfortunately cannot answer any questions concerning the conflict(s) that have recently been exposed as we do not wish to jeopardize the fair administration of this case.