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Calif. woman goes on trial in severed penis case

Catherine Kieu sits next to her attorney, deputy public defender, Frank Bittar, before opening statements Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in Santa Ana, Calif.
AP Photo/The Orange County Register

SANTA ANA, Calif. A Southern California prosecutor says a jealous wife yelled "You deserve it" before severing her estranged husband's penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife and throwing it in a garbage disposal.

The Orange County Register reports a jury heard opening statements Wednesday in the case of 50-year-old Catherine Kieu, who is accused of drugging her husband's tofu with sleeping pills and tying him to a bed before the attack.

Deputy District Attorney John Christl says audio of the July 11, 2011, incident was captured by a voice-activated recorder Kieu had hidden in the bedroom.

Deputy Public Defender Frank Bittar says Kieu's severely traumatic childhood in war-torn Vietnam, including rape by her older brother, caused mental illness that bars her from a mayhem or torture conviction.