Catherine Kieu Trial: Calif. man describes night estranged wife cut off his penis

FILE - This file booking photo provided by the Orange County District Attorney's office shows Catherine Kieu. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday April 17,2013 in the trial of Kieu, who is accused of drugging her boyfriend with Ambien, tying him to the bed, severing his penis and mutilating it in a garbage disposal. (AP Photo/Orange County District Attorney, File) Uncredited

Catherine Kieu
AP Photo/Orange County District Attorney, File

(CBS/AP) SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California man testifying in his estranged wife's trial Wednesday said it was as though his life ended on the evening she allegedly severed off his penis.

"She murdered me that night," the man said on the first day of the trial of 50-year-old Catherine Kieu.

Orange County Deputy District Attorney John Christl said in his opening statement that Kieu, angry because her husband was dating a former girlfriend, laced his food with sleeping pills on July 11, 2011. She allegedly then tied him to a bed, severed his penis and put it in the garbage disposal.

"I will never have a sex life again," said the husband, who had surgery that allows him to urinate. The penis could not be reattached. "My mental state is improving, but it may never be what it was before."

The man is going only by his first name in court and is not being named by The Associated Press because of the sexual nature of the attack.

The husband said he remembered waking up and being tied to the bed.

"All of a sudden I felt a very sharp pain," he said.

In his opening statement, Deputy Public Defender Frank Bittar told jurors that Kieu's traumatic childhood in war-torn Vietnam caused mental illness that should prevent her from conviction on the charges of aggravated mayhem and torture.

Bittar said Kieu met the victim at a gym, and after they married he subjected her to sexual and verbal abuse, and filed for divorce while they continued to live together in his Garden Grove home.

Prosecutors played audio in court that was captured by a voice-activated recorder Kieu had hidden in the bedroom, according to Christl. She is heard yelling "you deserve it" three times before the attack on the recording.

Complete coverage of Catherine Kieu on Crimesider

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