CENTENNIAL, Colo. (KDVR) — A man accused of murdering his wife and daughter and stuffing their bodies into trash cans appeared in court for the first time Wednesday.

Investigators said Reginald Maclaren used an ax and a saw in the crime. He allegedly told police he was afraid he would be evicted so he killed his family to prevent them from feeling the pain of homelessness.  

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom where the 81-year-old walked, shackled. He then sat in the jury box for his first advisement.  

Police said he admitted to killing his wife and daughter.  Their bodies were found stuffed into trash cans in their Englewood apartment on Saturday.  

Affidavit: Maclaren said he was on the verge of being evicted

According to the affidavit, Maclaren told investigators he had lost his job and was on the verge of being evicted and that he did not want his family to live a miserable life.  

In Englewood, there are several homeless services, which FOX31 was told are ready to help people struggling to find a place to live.  

One of them is called the Housing Navigator Program. 

“It’s a team of three individuals who every day of the week they are physically located at different points throughout this region, and they are there for the purpose of meeting with folks in that specific situation,” Tri-Cities Homelessness Coordinator Mike Sandgren said. 

Denver also has programs for the unhoused.  

“It’s extremely distressing and can be scary facing a housing crisis, but the bottom line is: If you’re facing a housing crisis, there is help and support for you,” Denver Department of Housing Stability Deputy Director Angie Nelson said.

What’s next?

FOX31 legal analyst George Brauchler said there will be a lot of questions about Maclaren’s state of mind.  

“I think his public defender is likely to start looking for issues related to competency and his ability to understand the proceedings in which he finds himself and separate from that and potentially related is whether he is sane,” Brauchler said.  

Brauchler said a mental health professional is most likely already assessing Maclaren behind bars. 

Maclaren’s public defender would not comment to FOX31 as she left the courtroom Wednesday.  

Maclaren is expected in court again on Monday, April 3.