Victims of fatal Atlantic City stabbing from Toronto
Published Tuesday, May 22, 2012 7:26PM EDT
Police say two women from Toronto are the victims of a fatal stabbing in Atlantic City, N.J. over the weekend.
The two women, aged 47 and 80, are only identified as Jane Doe, as authorities notify their next of kin.
Police said the two women, a mother and her daughter, were tourists and innocent victims of a botched robbery attempt.
Police said a female suspect stabbed them multiple times around 10 a.m., using a butcher knife, before trying to steal their money.
The two women were taken to hospital, but died of their injuries.
The woman accused of the crime, Antoinette Pelzer, was originally charged with robbery.
Pelzer appeared in a U.S. court Tuesday where she was charged with murder.
Pelzer seemed confused as the judge read the charges against her, shaking her head and scrunching up her face several times.
"You, in fact, inflicted a robbery by purposefully inflicting serious bodily harm on Jane Doe, in the course of committing the thefts specifically by repeatedly stabbing the victim with a 12-inch butcher knife," the judge read in court.
"The victim fell to the ground," the judge continued. "And while on the ground the suspect attempted to take the victim's pocket book from her shoulder. And when the victim did not relinquish, the suspect stabbed her additional times."
Pelzer replied with disbelief.
"Murder charges? What the hell?" Pelzer said after the judge read the charges.
Pelzer's bail was set at $1.5 million.
Pelzer's mother said her daughter suffers from schizophrenia and may have been off her medications.
The two victims were in Atlantic City on a gambling holiday.
Police said they lived in Scarborough, in the eastern part of Toronto.
The news left other tourists in the city shocked.
"Think of your grandmother and if it's not safe for your grandmother, why would you take your children there?" asked tourist Rick Seaman.
With files from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney