A North Carolina man accused of killing his wife admitted in court on Friday to stabbing her death after taking “too much” Coricidin cough medicine.
The News & Observer reports that over 50 people packed into a Raleigh courtroom Friday morning in support of Lauren Phelps, who lost her life in 2017 when her husband, Matthew Phelps stabbed her numerous times. Many of the supporters wore buttons and shirts that read #LaurensLight.
“The thoughts of all her little body endured at Matthew’s hands are what my nightmares are made of,” the victim’s mother, Laurie Hugelmaier, said during the court hearing.
Phelps took a plea deal and in exchange, he’ll avoid the death penalty and spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Phelps stabbed his wife 126 times on September 1, 2017, while inside their Raleigh townhome. The suspect dialed 911 a little after 1 a.m. and said he “thought” he killed his wife, then blamed the tragic incident on the cough syrup he took hours earlier.
“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?”
Authorities arrested and charged Phelps with first-degree murder for his wife’s death; the case gained national attention after numerous experts began discussing the effects of cold medicine and whether Coricidin Cough and Cold could cause a psychotic episode.
Documents indicated that the couple, although married less than a year, were having marital issues in regards to finances. Phelps reportedly spent more money than the couple made. Friends told authorities that prior to her murder, Lauren “had recently taken drastic steps to limit her husband’s spending.”
Further, the suspect had an alleged obsession with the movie, “American Psycho,” about a serial killer who couldn’t stop himself from murdering others. He also reportedly made mention to a close friend that he wondered what it would be like to kill.
“It was learned that Matthew Phelps was obsessed with the movie ‘American Psycho’ and this Instagram account shows numerous photographs of scenes from the movie and Phelps dressed as the main character,” court documents read. “The movie is about a serial killer, and Phelps expressed interest to a friend regarding what it would be like to kill someone.”
Investigators said that evidence suggested Lauren was preparing to end her relationship with Phelps before she was murdered.
Despite Phelps indicating on the 911 call that he dreamed of the killing and wasn’t aware when the murder occurred, investigators stated that he took the time to clean himself up after the stabbing.
[Feature Photo: Lauren Phelps, Matthew Phelps/Police Handout]