Aspiring Pastor Accused Of Stabbing Wife To Death Blames Her Murder On Cold Medicine

A 28-year-old North Carolina man is facing a murder charge after allegedly stabbing his wife in bed  but the newlywed claims he doesn’t remember carrying out the alleged crime because he might have done it in his sleep.

Matthew Phelps, 28, is charged with killing his wife of less than one year, Lauren Hugelmaier, 29, at their home in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the early hours of Friday morning. He told police that he thinks he stabbed his wife to death while he was having a dream.

Phelps, who worked for a lawn service company but who once studied at a bible college, called 911 to say he had woken up to find his wife dead, himself covered in blood and a bloody knife on their bed. He later said he had taken the cough and cold medicine Coricidin HBP before going to sleep and suggested that it may have driven him to kill his innocent wife.

The dead woman was buried on Monday at Hope Lutheran Church, where the couple married less than a year ago. Her obituary in the local newspaper made no mention of her husband or of her married name. 

The 911 call he placed after his wife's death was released by police over the weekend. In a recording of the call, he can be heard telling an operator coldly: "I think I killed my..."

He continued: "I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and she's dead on the floor. There's blood all over me, and there's a bloody knife on the bed and I think I did it. I can't believe this."

Struggling for breath, he continued: "I can't believe I did this. I don't even know what time it is." 

Crying, he said: "I can see her. She's not breathing. Oh my God."

When asked if his wife was beyond help, he said while still crying: "I'm scared to get too close to her."

He explained: "I took more medicine than I should have. I took Coricidin Cough and Cold because I know it can make you feel good so a lot of times I can't sleep at night..."

At the end of his 911 call, Phelps wailed: "She doesn't deserve this."

Lauren was a Sunday school teacher and Phelps was studying to be a pastor, a friend told ABC. Lauren's relatives are yet to speak publicly of her killing. Phelps is charged with murder and is being held at Wake County Detention Center without bail.

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