Woman charged with severing husband's penis gets mental evaluation
Catherine Kieu Becker appeared in court Wednesday but did not enter a plea. The evaluation is fairly common in cases involving a unusually violent crime like this one.
"Given the nature of the offense, it's standard operating procedure," said Orange County sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino.
A law enforcement source said told The Times that a dispute over an "inappropriate relationship" may have been the motive in the case.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing, said the couple had argued earlier in the day and that the wife was angry at the husband over a relationship. Police said that when they confronted the woman, she said her husband "deserved it."
Orange County prosecutors charged the wife with two felony counts for allegedly cutting off her husband's penis and throwing it in a garbage disposal after drugging him and tying him to a bed.
Becker, 48, faces one felony count each of torture and aggravated mayhem with sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury and personal use of a knife. If convicted on all counts, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole.
She has been held without bail since her arrest Monday night. Her arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday in Westminster, where she is expected to plead not guilty.
Becker, a real estate broker, lived with her husband, identified by prosecutors only as John Doe, in a Garden Grove apartment.
The husband told police that his wife served him dinner and that he went to bed about 9 p.m. While he was sleeping, she "tied the victim’s legs and arms to the four corners of the bed with nylon ropes," prosecutors said.
The victim told authorities that when he woke up, his wife pulled down his pants, "grabbing the victim’s penis and severing it with a knife." She then took the penis to the kitchen and threw it in the garbage disposal, "turning it on and mutilating the organ."
She then called 911.
The husband underwent surgery but the severed organ could not be reattached.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Catherine Kieu Becker in court Wednesday. Credit: KTLA -TV