Toronto women killed in Atlantic City identified
The scene of fatal stabbings that occurred earlier in the day is seen in Atlantic City along Pacific Avenue between Michigan and Ohio Avenues, Monday, May 21, 2012. (AP / The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto)
Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 11:56AM EDT
Prosecutors in the United States have released the names of two Toronto women stabbed to death in New Jersey earlier this week.
Po Lin Wan, 80, and Alice Mei See Leung, 47, a mother and daughter from Scarborough, Ont., were tourists and innocent victims of a botched robbery attempt, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel announced on Wednesday.
Police said a female suspect stabbed them multiple times around 10 a.m. on Monday, using a 30-centimetre butcher knife, before trying to steal their money.
The two women were taken to hospital, but died of their injuries.
Housel said Wan was stabbed in her lower body, hand and shoulder after coming to the aid of Leung.
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. Her bail has been set at $1.5 million.
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 on Tuesday.
"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 mother said her daughter suffers from schizophrenia and may have been off her medications.
Wan and Leung were in Atlantic City on a gambling holiday.
Police said they lived in Scarborough, in the eastern part of Toronto.