ELIZABETH - Bill Parisio, 22, made his first appearance in court this morning. The Rutgers student is being charged with killing his longtime girlfriend, Pamela Schmidt, 22, of Warren Township.

Parisio's mother says some of the blame lies with a controversial product that her son was using. She says the product is called "bath salts," but it isn't the kind you bathe with.

She told the Star-Ledger that her son was abusing the "bath salts" at the time of the murder. The powdered substance is sold as a stimulant in local head shops, and some lawmakers are now trying to make it illegal.

Werner Schmidt, Jr. says he opposed his daughter's relationship with Parisio, because of the young man's drug use and arrest record, but he couldn't convince her to end it.

Schmidt says Parisio's "bath salts" abuse should not be a defense for murder. Parisio's mother declined to be interviewed today, but did say she was happy that lawmakers are moving to ban "bath salts."

Parisio's $400,000 bail was continued and the matter will now go to a grand jury.