Man stabs wife 123 times, blames cough syrup
A WOMAN from the US state of North Carolina, whose newlywed husband told 911 he believed he killed her after overdosing on cold medicine, was found to have been stabbed and slashed 123 times, officials said.
Wannabe preacher Matthew James Phelps, 28, is charged with first-degree murder in the September 1 death of his wife, Lauren Hugelmaier Phelps, 29.
"I had a dream, and then I turn on the lights and she's dead on the floor," Phelps told a 911 dispatcher. "I have blood all over me, and there's a bloody knife on the bed, and I think I did it."
Phelps said he took too much cough medication.
"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. So I took some," he said at the time.
"Oh, my God! She didn't deserve this. I can't believe this. I can't believe this," the aspiring pastor said. "I'm so scared."
First responders found the bloodied Lauren curled in a foetal position on her bedroom floor, according to the autopsy report.
A medical examiner counted 24 stab wounds and 20 cuts to her head and neck; 13 stab wounds and 11 cuts to her torso; 16 cuts and one stab wound on her right arm; and 35 cuts and three stab wounds to her left arm, according to WRAL.
According to People Magazine, search warrants turned up an empty box of Coricidin HBP Cold and Cough, a popular brand of cough medicine in the USA, at the couple's home.
Phelps' lawyer Joseph Blunt Cheshire V said the effects of the cold medicine are "certainly an interesting subject of inquiry."
The medication's potential side effects include hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.
In late September, a grand jury was presented with evidence that suggested Lauren's death was an act of premeditated murder, according to an indictment, the paper reported.
Jurors found enough probable cause to determine that her husband "wilfully, unlawfully, and feloniously did of malice aforethought kill and murder" his wife, with whom he had been married less than a year, according to the document.
Phelps, who has not yet entered a plea, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, according to the Wake County Clerk's Office.
Cheshire urged the public not to rush to conclusions.
"It's a very tragic situation - sad and tragic. And at the same time we have to ask everybody to withhold judgment in this particular case until we know more and we're able to develop more," he said, People reported.
"There's a lot to this story I believe that will be told in the future."
This article originally appeared on The New York Post and has been republished here with permission.