A woman charged with murder for fatally stabbing her Navy physician husband testified Monday that she felt "sick" after finding an email from him to another woman detailing a day they spent together.
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Jennifer Trayers testified that she thought the email was written to a female friend of her husband's, whom she had long suspected of having an affair with him.
It turned out Lt. Cmdr. Frederick Trayers was having an affair with another woman he had met in August 2010 on a hospital ship.
After suspicions arose, the defendant said she purchased computer software so she could capture emails written by her husband.
Jennifer Trayers said that in early October 2010 she saw the email detailing her husband's day with another woman, in which he described washing the woman's hair, watching her dress and feeding her French fries.
Asked how reading the email made her feel, the defendant said "sick."
In her opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Fiona Khalil told jurors that the defendant fatally stabbed her 41-year-old spouse the morning of Dec. 4, 2010, after he got off work at Naval Medical Center San Diego and had taken medication to help him sleep.
He was stabbed twice in the chest, eight times in the back and had defensive wounds on his hands, the prosecutor said. One of the stab wounds to the chest went straight through the heart, Khalil said.
The morning of the stabbing, the defendant sent her husband's mistress an eight-page, single-spaced letter, saying, "My husband is not going to be yours" and "I was the last person he was with," according to the prosecution.
When the victim didn't show up for work on Dec. 6, 2010, police broke into the couple's North Park condominium and found Frederick Trayers dead on one side of their bed and his wife on the other side with multiple superficial cuts to her chest.
The victim died almost instantly, Khalil said. The defendant "never called for help, even though she could have," the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Kerry Armstrong told the jury that his client attacked her husband 90 days after finding out about his affair.
Armstrong said the victim had continued to deny the extramarital affair and told his wife he would never leave her.
Frederick Trayers had cheated on his wife in the past, and Jennifer Trayers also had an affair with a co-worker a number of years ago, Armstrong said.
In late November 2010, she hit "rock-bottom" and contemplated suicide, her attorney said.
The morning of the killing, Trayers grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and asked her husband what was the best way to kill herself, Armstrong said.
Her husband told his wife he had a "better knife" and pulled out his military knife, Armstrong said. The defendant started poking her chest and became upset with her husband's indifference toward her actions, the defense attorney said.
According to Armstrong, the husband said, "Let me help you with that." A "weird, bizarre feeling" came over the defendant as she fought with him over the weapon, Armstrong said.
Jennifer Trayers took the knife away from her husband "and just started stabbing him," according to Armstrong. She had no intention of killing her husband and has little memory of the two days that followed, he said, telling the jury his client was guilty of voluntary manslaughter, not murder.
On Monday, after the prosecution rested its case, Judge Joan Weber denied a defense motion to dismiss the murder charge due to lack of evidence.
Trayers faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.
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