Vikki Vargas and Lori Bentley
Catherine Kieu could get life in prison for poisoning, restraining and mutilating her estranged husband.
The woman accused of cutting off her husband's penis with a kitchen knife and running it through a garbage disposal was charged Wednesday with torture and aggravated mayhem.
Arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Catherine Kieu, 48, was taken into custody Monday after police responded to a medical emergency call from her husband's Garden Grove home. When officers arrived, they found Kieu's husband tied to a bed and bleeding from his groin area.
The victim was hospitalized at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange. He was listed in serious condition when he arrived, but his condition was upgraded to good Tuesday night. Pieces of the penis were taken to the hospital, but it remained unclear whether surgeons were able to reattach it.
Kieu's bond was set at $1 million. According to California penal code, aggravated mayhem is a felony punishable by life in prison.
Kieu and the victim had an argument Monday night over friends staying at the man's residence, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
The man told police that he felt sick after eating a meal that Kieu had prepared for him, so he went to take a nap. The man told police he thought the meal contained some type of drug.
When he awoke, police said the woman attacked him with a 10-inch knife.
"He was conscious when his penis was removed,'' Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said.
Police said Kieu then threw the penis in a garbage disposal and turned on the disposal.
"To me it's a shock," a neighbor said. "She doesn't look like the type of person who would do something like that."
Court documents show that the couple is in the process of a divorce. A neighbor said the couple has been married since December.
Officers said that when Kieu called 911, she said, "He deserved it."