Trauma drove wife to hack off man's penis

2013-04-26 11:01
This image shows a booking photo of Catherine Kieu Becker who stands accused of drugging her estranged husband, tying him to a bed, cutting off his penis and putting it through a garbage disposal. (Orange County District Attorney/ AP)

This image shows a booking photo of Catherine Kieu Becker who stands accused of drugging her estranged husband, tying him to a bed, cutting off his penis and putting it through a garbage disposal. (Orange County District Attorney/ AP)

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Santa Ana — The attorney for a Southern California woman charged with severing the penis of her estranged husband said she "had a break from reality" the night of the attack.

Orange County Deputy Public Defender Frank Bittar said during closing arguments on Thursday that Catherine Kieu had been through a lifetime of trauma and abuse and snapped the night she drugged her husband, cut off his penis and threw it in the garbage disposal in 2011.

The jury is scheduled to begin deliberating on Monday on charges of torture and aggravated mayhem that could get the 50-year-old Kieu life in prison.

Prosecutors said in their closing arguments that Kieu was driven by jealous anger, not trauma, and showed her intentions by her thorough planning before the attack.

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