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Hearing held for couple accused of attacking grandmother

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 17 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 19 2012 05:07:15 AM CDT

A Carbon County grandmother re-counted her experience of surviving being stabbed in the neck twice.

PALMERTON, Pa. -

A Carbon County grandmother re-counted her experience of surviving being stabbed in the neck twice.

What's worse is the plot to kill her was hatched by her grandson, police said.

Jacob Wertman and Amber Steigerwalt are charged with trying to kill Wertman's grandmother Margie Wertman, 63, back in September.

Friends would call them love birds but to law enforcement they are now jail birds.

Dressed in blue, Jacob Wertman, 23, and his girlfriend Amber Steigerwalt, 19, headed into Palmerton, Carbon County District Court ,but not before first firing off an expletive at the media.

Inside, Jake's grandmother told of surviving a night of terror.

Wertman testified, on the night of September 24, Jake and Steigerwalt were waiting for her inside in the darkened kitchen of her Ashfield home.

When she entered, Wertman says she was stabbed in the neck twice by Steigerwalt.

Wertman said Steigerwalt pounced saying: "I hate you. I hate you." Wertman said after fighting her off, Steigerwalt ran up the stairs.

She says Jake stood by the kitchen door, blocking her escape, even when the woman pleaded "I have to get out, she's going to come after me. She's going to kill me."

Margie Wertman said all this was happening while Wertman and Steigerwalt's 18-month-old son was in the next room.

Police say Steigerwalt told them Jake had recruited her to kill both grandparents and then dispose of the body.

On the stand Wertman said her grandson, who had lived with her and his grandfather his entire life, said to her: "Please don't press charges, Mem. Please don't press charges Mem."

The plea came right after he made her hang up with 911.

An hour after the stabbing Wertman finally took his bloodied grandmother to a hospital.

Wertman testifed she suspected both Jake and Steigerwalt were using drugs, police said.

Wertman does have a history of drug use. He currently faces multiple drugs charges stemming from a separate incident.

Police say Steigerwalt admitted to doing meth and heroin prior to the attack.