A woman who wanted her husband to "stop hurting her" and believed he was cheating cut off his penis after drugging him.
Catherine Kieu Becker put audio devices around the house, trying to catch him having sex with someone else, but she ended up not discovering anything.
While she did not have any evidence of his cheating, she still believed he was, and one night she drugged her husband in a plot to take away his manhood.
She made her 60-year-old husband a bowl of tofu soup and mixed in insomnia drug Zolpidem.
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The audio devices, which were still working at the time, recorded the man saying that the soup was good and that he was going to bed early.
He went to bed around 8:10 p.m. on July 11, 2011.
"You can hear him saying, 'It's a little salty,' before going to bed early," prosecutor John Christl said. "When he was asleep she used ropes to tie him to the bed."
He woke up after being tied and she told him, "You deserve it," before slicing off his penis with one motion of the knife.
"She then walks into the kitchen, takes the severed penis and puts it in the garbage disposal," Christl said.
Kieu's lawyer Frank Bittar said the woman suffered from a "lifetime of trauma" starting with her childhood. She grew up in civil war-torn Vietnam and was raped by an older brother repeatedly.
Once she moved to California, she was married in 1984 but then had an "amicable" divorce in 1997.
"She's not jealous and she's not wicked and she's not a black widow," Bittar said.
She married her husband in 2009.
Kieu described him as "hyper-sexual" as he used erectile dysfunction drugs and forced her to have sex with him, often in "painful" sexual positions.
"You're going to learn that in Catherine's mind, she severed his penis because she wanted him to stop hurting her with his penis," Bittar said.
If she is convicted, she faces a lifetime in prison without parole.