New details continue to emerge in the case of the North Carolina man who reportedly killed his wife after he “took too much cough medicine” prior to sleeping.
Inside Edition reports that Matthew Phelps had a secret online life. The 27-year-old aspiring pastor apparently used the screenname “Marty Radical” on Instagram page and shared photos of himself wearing all black.
“I can’t get out of bed. There is evil in my head. Just let me be,” he captioned on one of his posts, quoting lyrics by rock band, Korn.
Phelps also used the social media site, Tumblr, where he shared his experiences with difficulties getting to sleep.
“Ever since I was little, I’ve had some strong activity with my dreams. Nightmares, night terrors, sleepwalking, hallucinations, and controlled dreams have all filled my life so far.”
His post was similar what he said to a 911 dispatcher on September 1, when said claimed he took Coricidin Cough and Cold to help him fall asleep.
“I took more medicine that I should have. I took Coricidin Cough and Cold because I know it can make you feel good and sometimes I can’t sleep at night……Oh my God. Oh God. She didn’t deserve this. Why?”
Friends say that it was indeed the cough medicine that made Phelps snap and stab his wife.
“I’ve taken Benadryl, and I’ve woken up confused myself,” Melanie Duke, the suspect’s former co-worker, told WTVD.
Duke also explained that Phelps is a “good guy” who’s religious and cared deeply for his wife. She said he babysat her children before with no issues.
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Phelps’ attorney said that as hard as it may be to imagine, his client is going through significant trauma and never intended to kill his wife.
“I know this is difficult for people to understand but he is going through a terrible trauma. And you know there are all kinds of stages to these things and he’s at the beginning of those stages. So there’s a lot of trauma to go around in all of this in all of these cases always.”
What you need to know:
Phelps is behind bars without bond after he allegedly stabbed his wife to death in their Raleigh townhome, after he claimed he took too much cough syrup the night before. Wake County District Court Judge Keith Gregory informed Phelps that since he was charged with murder in the state of North Carolina, he could face life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Sensing there would be emotional outbursts in the courtroom, Gregory told the public to step outside if they couldn’t control themselves. Phelps, wearing a orange and white jail jumpsuit, then entered the courtroom and appeared meek and sullen as the judge read him his charges.
Phelps called 911 a little after 1:10 a.m. on Friday from his home off of the 5200 block of Patuxent Drive. He claimed he took “too much Coricidin Cough and Cold” put him in a deep sleep and gave him weird dreams.
“I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and she’s dead on the floor,” Phelps told a 911 dispatcher. “There’s blood all over me, and there’s a bloody knife on the bed. I think I did it…..I took more medicine that I should have. I took Coricidin Cough and Cold because I know it can make you feel good and sometimes I can’t sleep at night……Oh my God. Oh God. She didn’t deserve this. Why?”
Bayer, the company that makes Coricidin, told ABC News that the family has their deepest sympathies. However, the company stressed that the cough medicine has never been associated with any side effects of violence.
“Patient safety is our top priority, and we continually monitor adverse events regarding all of our products. There is no evidence to suggest that Coricidin is associated with violent behavior.”
The victim, 29-year-old Lauren Phelps, was rushed to the hospital by paramedics, where she was pronounced dead. When medical personnel arrived at the townhome, they noted stab wounds all over her body. Friends and family later set up a YouCaring page, to help with burial and medical expenses.
My heart sank yesterday when I heard the passing of Lauren. I am in disbelief,” a friend wrote on Lauren’s Facebook remembrance page. “She was one of the purest souls one could ever meet. Her kind heart and sweet nature are an extremely rare find. She was a great friend to anyone lucky enough to call her one.”
Phelps, a 2011 graduate of the Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in 2011 in Pineville, Kentucky, didn’t have a criminal history. According to his Facebook page, the couple enjoyed Star Wars, even dancing together with light sabers at their wedding last year.
A judge set Phelps’ next court date for September 25.
[Feature Photo: Raleigh PD]