A Southern Californian woman is accused of cutting off the penis of her estranged husband. She was arrested late last night after investigators responded to a 911 call and is now in custody at the Orange County Jail.
Catherine Kieu Becker of Garden Grove reportedly prepared dinner for her husband and put a poisonous substance or drug in his food to make him drowsy, reports KTLA. While the man was sleeping, Becker allegedly tied him to the bed. When he awakened, Becker cut his penis off with a knife and threw it into the garbage disposal, turning it on as she did so.
Lt. Jeff. Nightengale told NBC LA that Becker called 911 at around 10 p.m. requesting emergency assistance. Nightengale said that Becker "told responding officers that he 'deserved it.'" Nightengale also revealed that the married couple was going through a divorce.
Nightengale spoke with the HuffPost and confirms that the victim has been upgraded to stable or good condition and is being treated at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Nightengale also says that pieces of the severed member were recovered from the crime scene and transported to the hospital with the victim last night, but he has no details on how the surgery went. Police hope to interview the victim either today or tomorrow.
Becker has been charged with "aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, administering a drug with intent to commit a felony, poisoning and spousal abuse," according to the Associated Press. The most serious of these charges is "aggravated mayhem," which carries a life sentence with possibility of parole (as opposed to just "mayhem," which has a sentence of 3-5 years).
Of the aggravated mayhem charge, Nightengale says, "It's so heinous -- we're looking at this as premeditated. Her intention was to permanently deprive him of a piece of his body and do it in such a way to inflict a great amount of pain and psychological damage." He also adds, "I've been doing this for 22 years and the only other time I remember this happening was when Lorena Bobbitt did it, and that didn't even happen here. This isn't a typical domestic violence case -- it was way over the top."
Becker was taken into custody without incident but refused to be interviewed. It is unknown whether or not she has retained counsel for herself.