A dispute over an inappropriate relationship may be the motive in the case of Garden Grove, California resident Catherine Kieu Becker who is charged with severing her husband's penis, a law enforcement source said.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing, said the couple had argued earlier in the day and that the wife was angry at the husband over a relationship.
The 60-year-old victim earlier told police his wife was angry about their pending divorce, but denied the existence of a love triangle.
He's saying there isn't (another woman), Lt. Jeff Nightengale of the Garden Grove Police Department told the News.
The man, whose name is being withheld, is a textiles business owner. He was in surprisingly good spirits following emergency surgery and was listed in good condition at UC Irvine Medical Center.
Pieces of the penis were recovered and transported to the hospital, but Nightengale said he couldn't comment on whether or not doctors successfully reattached anything.
According to police, Becker drugged her estranged husband, cut off his penis, and grinded it up in a garbage disposal before alerting police.
Becker was taken into custody Monday night after telling officers that her husband deserved it. He was found tied to the bed and bleeding from his groin.
Becker is accused of drugging her husband's food to make him sleepy, slicing his penis off with a knife, tossing it into the garbage disposal, and then turning the unit on, Garden Grove Police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said in a written statement. She then called 911.
The garbage disposal element is going a whole step beyond. That's why we're going with aggravated mayhem instead of just mayhem. The garbage disposal took it to a whole other level, Nightengale said.
Becker's husband told detectives that he laid down in bed feeling ill from the food and later woke up to find himself tied to the bed with his wife tugging at his clothes, grabbing his penis, and cutting it off.
Becker has been charged with two felony counts by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Torture and aggravated mayhem are her two main convictions with sentence enhancement for causing great bodily injury, said Susan Schroeder, the DA's chief of staff.