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Severed penis case: Garden Grove woman gets life in prison

Catherine Kieu, 50, appears in a Santa Ana courtroom on Friday, June 28, 2013, for a sentencing hearing.
June 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Orange County woman convicted of drugging her estranged husband and cutting off his penis was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The judge said in his over 20 years on the bench trying various murder cases, this was as cold and calculated as a murder.

Catherine Kieu, 50, who has been incarcerated since the attack, will be eligible for parole in seven years.

The defendant walked into the courtroom in handcuffs and never looked at her victim as he read his impact statement. He told the judge that Kieu stole his identity and crushed his optimism for ever living a happy life in the future.

"It was traumatic," the victim told Eyewitness News after the hearing. "I'm hoping that this will be the last time I ever have to see her."

Prosecutors said Kieu carefully planned out the July 11, 2011, attack. She drugged her husband following an argument after he filed for divorce. Screaming, "You deserve it," she cut off his penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife and tossed it down a garbage disposal, prosecutors said.

The couple had been married for a year and a half before the crime.

During trial, the 60-year-old victim testified that his penis could not be reattached and that he felt as though he had been murdered.

Public defender Frank Bittar said Kieu was born in Vietnam and suffered mental health problems, growing up in a war-torn country. Bittar also said she had been subjected to verbal and sexual abuse by the victim, which the victim denies.

The defense told the judge that Kieu was remorseful for what she had done and asked for probation, which the judge denied.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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