A woman accused of fatally stabbing her unfaithful Navy physician-husband in bed after he took sleep medication testified on Tuesday she doesn't remember plunging a military knife into his chest, saying "he didn't deserve to die."
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Prosecutors are seeking a first-degree murder conviction against Jennifer Trayers in the Dec. 4, 2010, death of 41-year-old Lt. Cmdr. Fred Trayers.
The defendant told defense attorney Kerry Armstrong who maintains his 43-year-old client is guilty of voluntary manslaughter, not murder that she didn't plan to kill her husband and felt remorse over his death.
When asked why she felt remorse, the defendant answered, "Because he didn't deserve to die."
Trayers said she tried to talk to her husband after he got off work about an affair he was having with another woman.
"I wasn't thinking clearly," she said. "I hadn't slept all night. All I was thinking about is 'why won't Fred talk to me about this?'"
She grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and jumped on the bed where he was reading after taking sleep medication.
The defendant said she asked her husband how to cut her wrists and commit suicide, figuring he would stop her. Instead, Trayers said her husband told her she needed a sharper knife, and he pulled out a military knife from a drawer.
The defendant said she grabbed the military knife and set the butcher knife down next to the bed. She said her husband then told her about a key artery running down the arm in order to commit suicide.
"I'm getting angry," the defendant testified. "Why is he telling me this? I'm very confused by his actions."
Trayers said she put the knife to her chest and asked "Where is my heart?", to which her husband said "lower."
"I was getting really mad," Trayers said. "I've never felt that way before."
Trayers said her husband tried to take the knife from her, but grabbed her wrist instead. She said they wrestled over the knife, and he stabbed her a couple of times in the chest.
"It felt hot, it felt pretty deep," the defendant testified.
Trayers said she felt like she was in a bubble during the struggle over the knife. She said she was wondering, "Who was this person in the room with me, because it wasn't Fred."
Trayers said she stabbed her husband in the back of the neck, and he stood up and pulled the covers off the bed.
The defendant testified that she blacked out and doesn't remember stabbing him a second time.
Fred Trayers was stabbed a total of 10 times: twice in the chest and eight times in the back. He also had defensive wounds on his hands.
The defendant said she woke up on the bed, took 10 sleeping pills and woke up again in the bathroom.
Police broke into the couple's North Park condominium two days later, and found the husband dead and Trayers on the other side of the bed with 36 wounds.
On cross-examination, Trayers told prosecutor Fiona Khalil that she was angry at the woman her husband was having an affair with and sent that woman an eight-page email the morning of her husband's death.
The defendant had installed software on their computer so she could compile and capture emails from her husband to his mistress. The emails talked about how he and the woman loved each other and how he wanted to divorce his wife.
In the eight-page email, the defendant told the mistress that "he (Fred) was NOT going to be hers," and that the other woman had "ruined" his marriage and career.
"You were successful in ending his life, weren't you?" asked Khalil.
"I guess so," answered Trayers. "I didn't do it on purpose."
Closing arguments are scheduled Wednesday.
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