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.
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