ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A woman arrested in the daytime stabbing deaths of two Canadian tourists near an Atlantic City casino laughed, frowned, grimaced and repeatedly asked where her lawyer was Tuesday as she was charged with murdering the women, one of them 80 years old.
Antoinette Pelzer allegedly stabbed the women Monday morning as they were walking in an area where most of the city’s casinos have their entrances and parking garages, authorities said. Pelzer’s aunt said she has long suffered from mental illness.
Superior Court Judge Michael Donio read from a criminal complaint that said Pelzer, 44, stabbed the 80-year-old woman and tried to steal her pocketbook.
The judge said the older woman was stabbed in different parts of her body with a 30-centimetre butcher knife, and that the younger woman, 47, was stabbed in her lower body, hands and shoulder when she tried to help.
Autopsies showed the older woman died from being knifed in the heart, while the 47-year-old woman bled to death. The victims are not being identified until relatives can be notified.
Donio had difficulty getting the defendant to focus and respond to his questions.
As the judge read parts of the criminal complaint charging her with murder and robbery, Pelzer silently shook her head “no.” At other times, she made odd faces, frowned and narrowed her eyes while looking at the judge and the prosecutor.