A woman could be sentenced to life in prison for allegedly cutting off her husband’s penis and throwing it into the garbage disposal, Orange County prosecutors said.
Catherine Kieu, 50, faces felony charges of torture and aggravated mayhem, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife, court records show.
Kieu was arrested the night of July 11, 2011, after she and her 60-year-old husband, whose name has not been released, apparently argued about the possibility of a friend staying at their home, prosecutors said.
Kieu allegedly then prepared an Ambien-laced dinner, prompting the man to become drowsy and to go to bed.
As he slept, Kieu allegedly tied his legs and arms to the bed with rope. When he awoke, prosecutors said, she pulled down his pants, grabbed his penis and cut it with a knife.
Kieu’s trial began Wednesday.
During opening statements, Kieu’s attorney said his client grew up in war-torn Vietnam and suffered from mental problems, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors said she was motivated by jealousy.
After she severed her husband’s penis, Kieu allegedly went to the kitchen and threw it in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on, “mutilating the organ,” according to prosecutors.
Kieu then called 911 and said her husband was bleeding, prosecutors said. The man then spoke to the dispatcher and said his wife had cut off his penis.
Garden Grove police arrived, and the man was rushed to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. The Times previously reported that emergency surgery to reattach the severed organ was unsuccessful.
Police told The Times after the arrest that Kieu had told officers her husband “deserved it.”
If convicted, Kieu could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.