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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

EDWARD MERAZ: Jury Convicts One of Three Men Charged with Attempted Murder, Kidnapping

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NORWALK – One of three men charged with the 2009 kidnapping and attempted murder of a woman left for dead in Turnbull Canyon was convicted today of attempted murder, conspiracy and other charges. The jury deliberated less than a day before finding Edward Meraz, 26, guilty of all counts, including kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, said Deputy District Attorney Greg Cernok. Meraz was convicted of kidnapping a Bellflower woman, who was 20 at the time of the attack on Aug. 4, 2009. She was beaten and her throat slashed and she was left for dead in the Turnbull Canyon area of Whittier. The woman survived the attack and managed to call for help from nearby residents. A separate jury is still deliberating charges against a co-defendant, Vincent David Mendoza, 23. The third man charged in the case, Jose Miguel Ayala, 29, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder and was sentenced in March to 39 years to life in prison. Cernok said no motive was determined for the attack. Meraz faces 34 years to life in prison when he returns to court on Jan. 18 for sentencing by Superior Court Judge Michael Cowell.
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