Police arrest two suspects in connection with slaying of Jersey City family

After nearly two months of investigations, two men have been charged with the murder of a Coptic Christian family from Jersey City.

Edward McDonald and Hamilton Sanchez pleaded innocent to murder charges during their arraignment Friday. Prosecutors have stated that the killings were motivated by greed, not religious differences as many people had speculated.

The bodies of 47-year-old Hossam Armanious, his wife, 37-year-old Amal Garas, and their two daughters, ages 16 and 8, were found in their home with their throats slashed on January 14. McDonald had rented a second-floor apartment in the house.

Prosecutors believe McDonald and Sanchez attempted to rob the Armanious family wearing ski masks. However, investigators say things got out of hand when one of the Armanious daughters recognized McDonald and managed to free herself.

The slayings caused animosity between Christians and Muslims in Jersey City. Friends of the victims speculated that the father had angered Muslims by posting in Internet chat rooms. Many Coptic Christians blamed Islamic extremists.

Related stories:Police question suspect in murder of Jersey City family Four family members found slain in Jersey City home Family of four murdered in Jersey City laid to rest Coptic Christians in Jersey City remember slain family

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."