Wife Accused in Navy Doc’s Murder to Testify

Jennifer Trayers is accused of stabbing her husband Fred Trayers


A San Diego-based Navy wife accused of stabbing her husband to death over a love affair is scheduled to testify Monday.

A police investigator said Jennifer Trayers continued to stab her husband Fred Trayers after he was dead and prosecutors say she allegedly planned the attack after discovering her husband's affair.

Defense attorneys say their client never planned to kill her husband and was trying to kill herself.

Jurors will soon decide the fate of Jennifer Trayers, who killed her husband, a Navy doctor, in December 2010.

Police say she continued stabbing him, even after he was dead.

Attorney Gretchen von Helms has defended a number of high-profile clients in San Diego and believes putting Trayers on the stand has its risks.

"The post-mortem stabs work with that defense because she's still going at it, even after he's dead, it means she's not thinking,"  Von Helms said.

"Because if she was thinking, she would have stopped once he was dead."

Von Helms says prosecutors will argue Trayers' planned the murder, after learning of her husband's extra-marital affair with fellow Navy doctor, Danielle Robins.

The defense has told jurors its evidence will prove involuntary manslaughter, not first-degree murder, which could reduce the sentence.

"It's not 'I didn't do the crime'," Von Helms said. "It is 'I was in a complete berserk, flipped-out rage, when this occurred I wasn't thinking rationally."

Jurors have heard Robins testify. Hearing from the wife may allow jurors to understand and forgive her rage; that the crime wasn't plotted out accordin to Von Helms.

"It's a very good case to have someone testify essentially because she's looking at life in prison," Von Helms said. "If she doesn't testify and she's convicted, then she sits there the whole time thinking, would it have been different if I testified."

Perhaps putting her behind bars for 12 years, instead of 25 to life.

Jennifer Trayers' defense attorney says the earliest she could take the stand, would be on Monday.

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