Matthew Phelps Claims Cold Medicine Defense In Wife’s Murder, His Name Not Mentioned In Wife’s Obituary

The man who made a chilling 911 call telling the operator in a groggy-like voice that he just woke up to find his wife in a pool of blood, and he doesn’t remember what happened, is in jail facing a murder charge today. He also said to that operator that there’s a knife on the bed, and he thinks he may have done this. He then elaborates by saying he took too much cold medicine the night before.

This case has gained national attention after such a tragic ending to a seemingly happy Raleigh, North Carolina, couple. This newlywed husband is studying to be a pastor, and his bride of less than a year was a Sunday School teacher. What happened to Matthew and Lauren Phelps in their bedroom during the wee hours of the morning on Friday?

Lauren Phelps, 29, was laid to rest on Monday. Her printed obituary made no mention of her husband Matthew Phelps, and she was listed under her maiden name, Lauren Ashley Nicole Hugelmaier, reports Her obituary also said that she worked as an auditor at Quintiles, and she was a graduate of Appalachian State University.

In this somewhat long 911 call, the operator learns that the man had taken too much cough medicine before he went to bed. He tells the person on the other end of this 911 call that he had what he thought was a dream, but when he woke up, his wife was really dead.

“I had a dream, and then I turn on the lights and she’s dead on the floor. I have blood all over me, and there’s a bloody knife on the bed, and I think I did it.”

Phelps is heard sobbing on this 911 call, reports

“I took more medicine than I should have. I took Coricidin cough and cold because I know it can make you feel good. A lot of times I can’t sleep at night and I took some.”

According to the New York Daily News, Phelps also said to the 911 operator about his now deceased wife, “Oh my God. Oh, God. She didn’t deserve this. Why?”

This is a crime that Fox & Friends discussed at length on their Tuesday morning show. They asked questions about the different aspects of this case as they explored the topic with the experts who were guests on the show. Tiffany Sizemore, who is a board certified cardiologist was one of those guests. Abby Huntsman, one of the Fox & Friends’ hosts, asked Sizemore if this could happen after you take cold medicine.

Sizemore said that it is extremely rare, but the ingredients in some cold medicines may cause a reaction in some people that can put them in a dream-like state of mind, but it doesn’t put their muscles in a sleep state. They are actually dreaming while moving around.

An attorney also joined this Fox & Friends discussion. She was not Phelps’ attorney, but someone brought on as an expert on the law. She said that the defense could set out to prove that the man didn’t know what he was doing. Another area they may probe is the man’s sleep history, such as the man’s past sleep habits. Does he have a history of walking or talking in his sleep, for example? This would be something that might help his case if he does have a history of odd behavior in his sleep.

The panel also said that as far as the prosecutor goes, they are going to need to find a motive and dig into their marriage when looking for a possible reason he might have done this if the cold medicine defense is questionable in their minds. They will also look for any cases that are similar to this or any documented odd behavior after someone took the cold medication in question.

Phelps had mentioned the name of the cold medicine by brand name in this 911 call. This prompted Bayer, the maker of this medicine, to release a statement.

“Bayer extends our deepest sympathies to this family. 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.”

Phelps is being held without bond, and he is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday at 2 p.m. to face A charge of murder, according to the New York Daily News.

[Featured Image by Olya Detry/Shutterstock]

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