The upstairs neighbor of an Egyptian Christian family found slain in their home in January was charged along with another man Friday in the killings, and authorities said the motive was robbery, not religious fanaticism, as some had feared.
Edward McDonald, 25, who rented a second-floor apartment above Hossam Armanious and his family, pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder, as did Hamilton Sanchez, 30. Both men were ordered held on $10 million bail.
“I didn’t kill nobody, man,” Sanchez said as he was led from the courtroom.
. . .
But Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said the killings took place during a robbery by the two men, who owed someone a large sum of money.
“I’d like to make one thing perfectly clear: The motive for these murders was robbery. This was a crime based on greed, the desperate need of money,” DeFazio said.
Authorities said thousands of dollars were withdrawn from Armanious’ bank account using his ATM card in the days after the slayings.
A more detailed article is here.
Color me skeptical that these guys are the real perps.
First, if this was a killing motivated by greed, why did they only take the ATM card? The original reports of the crime indicated nothing taken from the house. If these guys were so hurting for money, why did they leave everything else in the house?
Second, robberies don’t usually end in brutal slayings of entire families which include the removal of Christian symbols from the bodies of the victims. Remember the daughter had a Coptic Christian cross tattoo cut from her wrist. If I remember correctly, robberies that end in homicide are extremely rare. A robbery that ends with the slaughter of a family just isn’t likely at all. And a robbery that ends with an almost ritualistic slaying of an entire family that had gotten death threats from a group of people who hated them seems even more improbable. For criminals that were motivated by simple greed, these guys turned out to be rather heinous. Of course, this world has no shortage of sickos.
Third, why does it seem like the police never even bothered or tried to explore the religious hatred angle? Why don’t they give reasons to shoot down such a preposterous theory? Do they evidence that the death threats were fabrications or vain threats? I just get the feeling that the police were making a strong effort to completely avoid the possibility that this was a religiously motivated killing.
JihadWatch has more reasons to be skeptical that this crime as been solved. Personally, I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt to the police, but in this case I find it hard to believe that they got the right guys. But then again, I would be glad to be wrong about my suspicions.