Aspiring Pastor Who Murdered His Wife of Less Than a Year Sentenced by Judge

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October 05, 2018Oct 05, 2018

Last April, a tragedy was reported. A Raleigh man, who was studying to be a pastor, killed his wife by stabbing her 123 times.

Matthew Phelps, now 30, was charged with murdering his wife of less than a year Lauren Hugelmaier Phelps, 29. On October 5, he entered a guilty plea to the charge of first-degree murder, reported People.

He had initially pleaded not guilty. However, that changed on Friday when Judge Paul Ridgeway asked Phelps if he was admitting to the murder, Phelps answered “yes."

His plea to first-degree murder implies premeditation. This counters the possibility that the murder was committed in a cold-medicine induced haze. Prosecutors had already presented tests that showed the amount of cold medicine he took did not rise to a toxic level.

Phelps will spend the rest of his life in jail. His lawyer said he pleaded guilty to avoid the possibility of the death penalty. He will not be eligible for parole.

The murder took place on September 1st, 2017. In a 911 call, he claimed that he took too much cold medicine and that caused him to kill her in a haze.

"I had a dream, and then I turn on the lights and she's dead on the floor," Matthew 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."

He went on to say that he had consumed “more medicine than I should have.” He added, “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," according to People.

After her murder, Police searched the couple's home, cars, phones, and social media last fall after the murder. However, the details were sealed during the investigation.

According to unsealed records, Phelps was fascinated with serial killers. Police found an Instagram account where Phelps posted photos of himself online dressed as the main character of the film "American Psycho" and posted stills from the film. The move is about an investment banker who kills people without motive.

The files also reveal a disturbing fact. They say that Phelps had "expressed interest to a friend regarding what it would be like to kill someone."

A look at the couple's phones also revealed that they were fighting. She was angry that he was out late that night, and they had been fighting about money.

"Interviews suggest the couple was arguing over finances and that the victim was preparing to end the relationship," one warrant application states.

Lauren Phelps' family also told police that Matthew Phelps had been "spending more money than the couple made." They also said she had taken "drastic steps" to curtail his spending.

The documents also reveal that investigators found evidence suggesting that Phelps had cleaned himself up before placing the 911 call, reported People.

Please pray for Lauren's family as they mourn her tragic and violent passing. May God and justice help them to heal.