Mother charged with attempted murder in stabbing of 6-month-old daughter

A Los Angeles mother was charged Thursday with deliberately burning her 6-month-old daughter and stabbing the baby in the chest with scissors, authorities said.

Maria Mendez, 39, faces two counts each of attempted murder and child abuse as well as one count of assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

If convicted, Mendez faces up to life in state prison.

The incident occurred Tuesday at the family’s University Park home, police said. Authorities alleged Mendez and her husband got into a dispute, and at some point, Mendez stabbed the baby with scissors.

When her husband managed to pull the baby girl away from Mendez, she threatened to stab him too, prosecutors said.

Her husband was able to run outside with the wounded girl, named Betzabel. The baby is expected to survive.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Miji Vellakkatel also alleged that Mendez intentionally burned the child Monday. The circumstances of that incident were not immediately available.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Juvenile Division.

Mendez is scheduled to be arraigned April 12 and remains in jail in lieu of $2-million bail.

richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @lacrimes

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