By Cleve Bryan

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (CBS/AP) — A homeless woman who admitted fatally stabbing two Canadian tourists in Atlantic City, N.J., during an attempted street robbery last year was sentenced to 80 years in prison Thursday afternoon.

45-year-old Antoinette Pelzer was convicted of two counts of murder in the deaths of 80-year-old Po Lin Wan and her daughter, 47-year-old Alice Mei See Leung.

The two women were from the Toronto area.

Pelzer was reportedly trying to steal Alice Mei See Leung’s purse and when the victim struggled, Pelzer fatally stabbed her and her mother. An Atlantic City Police Officer on routine patrol showed up within thirty seconds and tried to save the victims but both later died from their injuries.

A relative, Ophelia Leung, said in court, “We were such a happy family and now this family is gone. There is no more happiness.”

Leung tearfully described her relatives as generous and loving people and loved by everyone.

“My family and I have suffered excruciating pain, hopelessness and despair – all of which was totally unnecessary”

Pelzer did offer an apology at her sentencing, “I apologize to the family about my sickness in acting in the crime and I apologize to the people that I have killed.”

Pelzer is a former Philadelphia resident. Her family had said she was mentally ill but The Press of Atlantic City reported ( ) tests did not support an insanity defense so she pleaded guilty in August.

The daytime stabbings, with a 12-inch butcher knife, occurred in the heart of the resort city’s new tourism district, which includes its casinos, boardwalk and shopping districts.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE