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Woman guilty of cutting of husband's penis faced life in prison

April 29, 2013|By A Times Staff Writer

A Garden Grove woman who was found guilty Monday of drugging her estranged husband, cutting off his penis and throwing it into a garbage disposal faces the possibility of life in prison.

Orange County prosecutors said in a statement that Catherine Kieu, 50, a maximum possible sentence of life. She is scheduled for sentencing June 28.

Catherine Kieu, 50, was convicted of torture and aggravated mayhem as well as a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a knife, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Kieu's public defender argued that her husband verbally and sexually abused her and demanded sex in ways that pained her. The lawyer also said Kieu had mental health issues stemming from being molested as a child in Vietnam.

Kieu was arrested on 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 prepared an Ambien-laced dinner, causing her husband to become drowsy and go to bed.

As he slept, Kieu tied his legs and arms to the corners of the bed with rope, prosecutors said. When he awoke, prosecutors said, she pulled down his pants, grabbed his penis and cut it with a knife.

She then went to the kitchen, threw it in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on, prosecutors said, "mutilating the organ."

Kieu 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.

The husband testified that his mental state had improved since the attack, the Associated Press reported, but said it "may never be what it was before."

"She murdered me that night," he said.

Prosecutors said Kieu -- who they said was angry because her husband was dating an ex-girlfriend -- screamed "You deserve it!" before the attack, the Associated Press reported. Police told The Times after the arrest that Kieu had told officers her husband “deserved it.”


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