Atlantic City police say that Antoinette Pelzer allegedly stabbed two Canadian tourists to death with a 12-inch butcher knife after she tried to rob them and her reactions to the murders have been laughs and frowns.
Pelzer, 44, attended a court hearing Tuesday about the details of a gory rampage by using a knife to stab two women repeatedly, ages 80 and 47, in broad daylight Monday morning at Michigan and Pacific avenues.
She said that she has struggled with mental illness.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Pelzer reportedly asked where her lawyer was and burst out laughing when Superior Court Judge Michael Donio asked if she had applied for a public defender.
“I done trying to find out where my public defender’s at,” she said. “Whatever you call it, whatever. I don’t know.”
From the criminal complaint against Pelzer, Donio read the macabre details of the bloodbath, including allegations that Pelzer stabbed one of the women and attempted to steal her pocketbook.
“When the victim would not relinquish, the suspect stabbed her additional times,” the complaint said.
The other woman then reportedly stepped in, attempting to stop the attack, and was stabbed several times throughout her lower body, hands and shoulder.
Prosecutors were unable to say which woman had been attacked first.
Police Officer Jacob Abbruscato stumbled upon the scene and was able to subdue Pelzer after drawing his gun. Both victims died at nearby AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.
Pelzer’s aunt, Nadine King, said that her niece had been homeless since the beginning of the year.
King blamed the attack on Pelzer’s mental illness.
Pelzer is facing charges of two counts of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose and robbery. Donio set her bail at $1.5 million cash.