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Woman Charged With Monday Stabbing In Atlantic City Appears In Court

By Robin Rieger

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) -- "I'm trying to find out where is my public defender at," said Antoinette Pelzer, the 44-year-old woman charged with murder in Monday's stabbing deaths of two Canadian tourists in Atlantic City.

During her first appearance on Tuesday on murder charges, Pelzer mumbled to herself and interrupted the judge as he detailed the allegations against her.

"It's alleged you purposefully or knowingly caused death of a Jane Doe, specifically by repeatedly stabbing her with a twelve inch butcher knife," said Judge Michael Donio.

The judge said the same butcher knife was used on the second woman "multiple times about her lower body, hands and shoulder while she was coming to the assistance of Jane Doe."

The judge also said Pelzer had committed a robbery by trying to grab one victim's pocketbook when the victim fell to the ground injured.

"When the victim would not relinquish it, the suspect stabbed her additional times," Donio said.

"They were attacked on the street in the morning," explained Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel. He says the deceased were foreign nationals from Canada . They were quickly assisted by a police officer who saw the attack.

"The officer was there and intervening within 13 seconds," Housel said.

He says investigators have had trouble locating the victims' next of kin, so their identities are not being released at this time.

Visitors were still shopping and walking to and from casinos in Atlantic City on Tuesday We asked those marketing Atlantic City as the place to "do" for reaction to the attacks. The Atlantic City Alliance released a statement that reads, in part:

"Obviously, this type of senseless and random act of violence is upsetting, regardless of where or when it occurs. The safety of our residents and visitors is of the utmost importance to everyone here...We are outraged by this random crime and saddened by the loss of two of our Canadian visitors."

Pelzer is being held on $1.5 million full cash bail.

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