Suspects in Turnbull Canyon throat-slitting case appear in court

NORWALK — A hearing was continued Wednesday for three men accused of slashing a woman’s throat and leaving her for dead in along Turnbull Canyon Road in Whittier.
El Monte residents Jose Ayala, 28, Vincent Mendoza, 22, and Edward Meraz, 25, were ordered to return to Norwalk Superior Court Jan. 24 for a pretrial hearing, court officials said. 
Each is charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated mayhem and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the Aug. 4, 2009 attack on their friend — a then-20-year-old Bellflower woman.
The suspects are accused of telling the woman they were going to the beach before they tied her up and drove her to an isolated spot along Turnbull Canyon Road in Whittier, investigators said.
The men then beat her, slit her throat and dumped her over the side of Turnbull Canyon Road.
The injured woman was able to climb a steep grade and get help from a house in the 6000 block of Altmark Avenue.
The suspects were arrested after a police officer pulled them over in a car and discovered a shovel and rope inside.
Investigators have not disclosed a motive in the crime, or said whether the suspects are believed to have gang ties.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Ayala was being held in lieu of $3.22 million bail, Mendoza was being held in lieu of $2.15 million bail and Meraz was being held in lieu of $2.13 million bail. All three were held at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.
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