Husband charged murder after wife was stabbed, appears to blame cough medicine

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Medicine pills
Various medicine pills in their original packaging are seen in Ljubljana February 14, 2012. Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic

A man who claimed waking up from a dream to find his wife stabbed to death has been charged with murder. He appeared to blame the incident on a strong dose of cough medicine.

Twenty-eight-year old Matthew Phelps called emergency services in Raleigh, North Carolina to report the death of his wife. Lauren Ashley-Nicole Phelps was found mortally stabbed at the townhouse where the couple lived in the 5200 block of Patuxent Drive, the Miami Herald reports.

State records show that Matthew did not have a criminal record. His Facebook profile states that he worked at Dunlap Lawn Service and graduated from Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in 2011. He studied mission and evangelism.

The couple had been married for less than a year, their Facebook pages suggest. They seemed to be fond of “Star Wars,” as they were seen in a Facebook photo wearing “Star Wars” gear and posing with the movie’s Chewbacca.

Another photo shows the couple dancing with lightsabers during the reception that followed their wedding last year. Less than 10 hours before she died, Lauren had posted a video of her smiling and touting a product she was selling. She was reportedly selling items from a candle company.

Seven-minute 911 call

Matthew appeared to admit in an emergency call that he was responsible for the alleged killing. He mentioned about a strong dose of cough medicine he had taken before he went to bed. He said there was blood all over him, and there was a bloody knife on the bed. “I think I did it,” Matthew reportedly said.

“I can’t believe I did this,” Matthew told the dispatcher. He also told the man on the phone that his wife was not breathing, and that he was scared to get close to her.

Later on the call, he told the dispatcher the blood he had on him was dried. He said she did not deserve “this.”

Matthew said he had taken cold medicine before going to bed as he knew it could make him feel good, but he took more than he should have. He added he could not sleep at night sometimes.

Matthew was reportedly transported to the Wake County jail. A jail spokesman said he is being held without bail. A spokeswoman at the Wake County Clerk of Court said he will make his first court appearance this week.

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