On July 11, 2011, Catherie Kieu drugged her husband to make him fall asleep and then cut off his penis and threw it down the garbage disposal. In mitigation, she did call 911 as her husband was tied up and bleeding from his crotch. Her case is still pending in Orange County Superior Court, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 2012, and with charges of torture and aggravated mayhem with enhancements for inflicting great bodily harm and using a deadly weapon, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Two things jump up in this case — and the poor victim’s manhood isn’t one of them. First, there’s obviously more to this story than what’s being reported in the media. Wives don’t normally cut off their husband’s penises, even if the husband was threatening divorce. Either the husband was severely mistreating his wife and/or the defendant is absolutely off her rocker. Probably both.
Second, if this case goes to trial, the defense better hope for all female jury. There’s no way any man will sit on this case and listen impartially to the evidence. If you have a penis, you’re going to vote guilty, as soon as you’ve heard opening statements. This might be one of those few cases where the defense may not want a jury trial. In criminal cases, a defendant can give up the right to a jury and have a bench trial instead. A bench trial is a trial where only the judge listens to the evidence and makes a decision. You might want a bench trial if the defense is that she’s crazy. On the other hand, the defense might try for a hung jury. If they can prove that the defendant suffered severe abuse at the hands of the victim over the course of the relationship, then you just need a few female sympathizers on the jury that might empathize with the defendant. As I said before, any man — regardless of race, sexual orientation or religion — is already voting guilty.
I do not envy her public defender. And if her public defender is a guy … well I hope he can keep his spirits up, because not much else is going to be standing in her case.