Witness: Slain Doctor Acknowledged Marital Problems

Jennifer Trayers Accused In Stabbing Death Of Dr. Frederick Trayers

A Navy emergency room physician, who was allegedly stabbed to death by his wife in his North Park condominium, told a colleague he was having marital problems in the months preceding his death, according to testimony Friday.

Jennifer Trayers, 42, is accused of killing Lt. Cmdr. Dr. Frederick Trayers, Chief Resident in Emergency Medicine at Naval Medical Center San Diego, who was last seen at a work Christmas party the night of Dec. 3.

The 41-year-old physician's body was discovered next to his bed the morning of Dec. 6. He had been stabbed in the chest, back and back of the head, according to Deputy District Attorney Fiona Khalil.

Jennifer Trayers was also found in the bedroom, seemingly dazed and with superficial and self-inflicted wounds, Khalil told Judge David Gill.

Trayers broke down in tears several times as the Deputy San Diego County Medical Examiner Othon Mena testified about the crime scene and the knife wounds inflicted on her husband.

Mena listed the locations and severity of the wounds, and said, "There were two stab wounds to the chest and eight stab wounds to the back."

The defendant quietly sobbed as she listened to the ways the popular Navy emergency room doctor might have died that day last December in their North Park condominium.

Mena continued, "Loss of blood itself can result in death, but the collection of blood would cause the lungs to collapse and also it can shift the organs from one side to the other."

A search turned up e-mails between the victim and another woman he had met last August, indicating he wanted to leave his wife, Khalil said.

The prosecutor said the defendant sent the woman an eight-page e-mail, saying she would never have a relationship with the victim and that the defendant would be the last person he would be with.

Dr. Mona Colianno, who worked with Frederick Trayers, said he confided in her at least two or three times about his marital problems.

Colianno said she noticed a change in Frederick Trayers' personality after returning from a brief deployment on the Navy hospital ship Mercy.

Colianno testified, "I could tell he wasn’t as charismatic. He wasn’t as engaging, he wasn’t as happy."

Colianno also said that she sensed trouble when the victim didn't respond to requests for help planning an annual party that was near and dear to him.

"He said, 'Look, there are more important things than a pirate party,'" the witness testified.

Colianno said she knew the problems were big "just by the way he was acting."

She said her colleague did not tell her that he was having an affair, but she heard rumors to that effect after his death.

The testimony came in a preliminary hearing that's expected to conclude Tuesday with a judge's decision on whether there is enough evidence to order the defendant to stand trial on a murder charges.

Jennifer Trayers faces 26 years to life if convicted.

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