Police: Wis. Woman Karen Lueders Bit Off Husband's Tongue, Started Singing Christmas Carols

Karen Lueders (Official Photo)
Police: Wisconsin Woman Karen Lueders Bites Off Husband's Tongue, Starts Singing Christmas Carols
Karen Lueders (Sheboygan Police Dept.)

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (CBS) A 57-year-old Wisconsin woman was charged Tuesday with mayhem after she allegedly bit off her husband's tongue while he was trying to give her a kiss.

Karen Lueders made an appearance in Sheboygan County Circuit Court where she was charged with the rarely used felony of mayhem and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation after she severed half of 79-year-old William Lueders' tongue during a "manic" episode around 11 p.m. Monday, authorities told The Sheboygan Press.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

While William Lueders held gauze to his mouth, he reportedly called 911 to lodge a criminal complaint against his wife, who was outside spreading Yuletide joy in the form of Christmas carols.

The operators struggled to decipher the man's garbled English, but dispatched police to his home because he sounded distressed.

When police arrived at the home, Karen Lueders was still belting out holiday tunes and carrying a New Year's horn, says The Sheboygan Press.

Police had their hands full and were unsure how to address the situation. They say the suspect blew her horn in an officer's ear and threw a cup of coffee at police.

Once police were able to get into the home, they found William Lueders still bleeding and clutching gauze.

After a series of yes and no questions, followed by shakes and nods from the elderly man, police were able to deduce that the woman outside was to blame.

In a written statement, Lueders claimed his wife went into a "manic state" when he kissed her while she was in the bathroom.

Doctors at a nearby hospital were able to reattach his tongue and said he was in satisfactory condition, says The Sheboygan Press.

Karen Lueders is in jail in lieu of a $5,000 cash bond and will undergo a competency exam within the next 15 days.