“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 Pelzer had been living in a shelter in Ohio until December, when her mother moved her back to Philadelphia. King said that Pelzer had been homeless since the beginning of the year.
King blamed the attack on Pelzer’s mental illness.
Gladys Pelzer, the suspect’s mother, told 6ABC that her daughter, a mother of three, had attempted to rob the tourists, who have not yet been publicly identified, for cigarette money.
“I feel sorry about the people she hurt all because she wanted a cigarette,” she said. “That’s what this was all about.”
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.
The murders were the latest in a handful of attacks on tourists over the last few years. Two years to the day before Monday’s attack, Martin Caballero was kidnapped from the Trump Taj Mahal parking garage and murdered. In that slaying, Craig Arno was convicted and his accomplice, Jessica Kisby, pleaded guilty. In September, Sunil Rattu, 28, and a 24-year-old woman he was with were carjacked in the Taj Mahal parking garage and Rattu was shot dead. Three men are awaiting trial in that attack.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel told a Canadian broadcaster after Tuesday’s hearing that the killings could have happened anywhere.
“It could have happened in Philadelphia. It could have happened in Las Vegas,” he said. “Don’t think this is something negatively special about Atlantic City that doesn’t exist anywhere else.” n