Matthew Phelps who killed his wife with the help of a knife and then called 911 claiming that he had killed his wife while asleep has been arrested. There are reasons to believe that the man may face death penalty in the gruesome murder of a woman who was loved by her family, friends and colleagues.
The long chat with a 911 operator has gone viral and the audio clip has been listened by hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of days. The 28-year old man tried to put the blame of murder on the cold medication he was taking, saying he mistakenly took larger dose of the cold syrup before going to bed.
Matthew Phelps was taken into custody last week and charged with murder of his wife, Lauren Hugelmaier, about 6 a.m. He was booked into the Wake County Jail. Police said they are still investigating and do not believe it was a random incident. They have not commented about a possible motive or Phelps’ claims in the 911 call that he took too much cold medicine.
Reports suggest that the man hasn’t entered a plea and is being held without bond at the Wake County jail, according to court records. Phelps’ attorney Joseph Cheshire has asked people to reserve their judgment until more about the case becomes clear.
While talking about his client and the case Cheshire said, “We’re just at the beginning of understanding what is happening here…It’s a very tragic situation, sad and tragic…There’s a lot to this story I believe that will be told in the future.”
Experts are of the opinion that if convicted, Matthew Phelps is expected to either death penalty or at least life in prison without possibility of parole. His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 25.
Phelps, who called 911 at around 1:10 am told the dispatcher, “I had a dream and then I turned 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. … I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this.” The man tells the dispatcher he didn’t know what time it was when asked when he woke up to find his wife. The dispatcher asks him if he is with “the patient,” and he responds “yeah, I can see here,” while seemingly beginning to get emotional.” The dispatcher then asks Phelps if she is awake and what makes him think she’s dead, and he responds, “she’s not breathing. Oh my God,” and begins to cry. The dispatcher then asks Phelps if his wife is beyond help and he replies, “I don’t know, I’m too scared to get close to her.”
In the 7-minute long conversation on 911, he says, “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 … I took some.”