In the beginning of last month, my colleague Kyle James informed us all of a mystery case in Raleigh where a man called 911 and stated that he had woken up finding his wife dead next to him in bed. According to his statements, <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/7597-North-Carolina-Man-Calls-911-After-Taking-Cough-Medicine-And-Waking-Up-to-Find-His-Wife-Stabbed"> coughing syrup could have been to blame.</a>
An autopsy has now been released showing that the woman had been slashed as well as stabbed some 123 times (some strong cough syrup effects indeed we would claim).
For these reasons, Mr Matthew Phelps, 27 years old, was charged with one count of first degree murder for the death of his wife, Ms Lauren Hugelmaier Phelps, 29 years old.
The 911 dispatcher released the call, on which you can hear Mr Phelps declare: "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."
According to the medical examiner, the body of Ms Hugelmaier was stabbed 24 times, with 20 cuts to the head and neck, 13 stabs as well as 11 cuts to the torso, 16 cuts and one stab on the right arm and 35 cuts and three stabs to the left arm.
Defense attorney Mr Karl Kundsen admitted that the 123 wounds would indeed be likely enough for any judge or jury to rule out an accident, but given the number of wounds, he said, this could also suggest something else: "It is, in fact, indicative of somebody who may be detached from reality or having a psychotic state because they're doing it far, far in excess of what would be necessary. For those people who think, 'Well, I can go drink a couple of bottles of cough syrup and kill somebody and get away with it,' that's not what the law is."
Mr Knudsen added that, should a jury believe that Mr Matthew Phelps was intoxicated due to the cough syrup and have been in a state of detachment from reality, the charges against him could be lightened from first-degree murder to second-degree.