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Conviction: Woman guilty of murder in SUV attack on pregnant rival

Los Angeles County jurors on Friday convicted Monica Mercado, a 28-year-old Latina, on charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder in the April, 5, 2009, assault on a pregnant woman that led to the death of the child.

Mercado intentionally struck the 24-year-old woman with her Range Rover, prosecutors said, seriously injuring her and forcing the cesarean-section delivery of her baby girl. The assault took place in the 300 block of East 102nd Street in Green Meadows about 10:30 a.m.

The child, a black girl, was born with head trauma and survived for seven hours at the hospital before she was pronounced dead. Coroner's officials identified her only as "Baby girl Davis," noting that she was never given a first name.

The child's mother, who was not named by authorities, survived the attack. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

The assault stemmed from a love triangle between the women and their mutual boyfriend, according to authorities. Witnesses told police that the incident began with a verbal confrontation between the women. The father of the child was in the car with Mercado during the attack, authorities said. He is also the father of two children with Mercado. 

"Jurors found true allegations of great bodily injury and termination of pregnancy. An allegation that the attempted murder was willful, deliberate and premeditated was found not true," officials from the district attorney's office said in a news release.

Mercado is scheduled to be sentenced March 1 in Compton Superior Court. She faces a maximum of 23 years and four months to life.

-- Megan Garvey

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