California woman Catherine Kieu goes on trial in severed penis case

3:26 PM, Apr 17, 2013   |    comments
Catherine Kieu
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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California prosecutor says a jealous wife yelled "You deserve it" before severing her estranged husband's penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife and throwing it in a garbage disposal.

The Orange County Register reports a jury heard opening statements Wednesday in the case of 50-year-old Catherine Kieu, who is accused of drugging her husband's tofu with sleeping pills and tying him to a bed before the attack.

Deputy District Attorney John Christl says audio of the July 11, 2011, incident was captured by a voice-activated recorder Kieu had hidden in the bedroom.

Deputy Public Defender Frank Bittar says Kieu's severely traumatic childhood in war-torn Vietnam, including rape by her older brother, caused mental illness that bars her from a mayhem or torture conviction.

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