Matthew Phelps was accused of stabbing his wife Lauren Hugelmaier Phelps 123 times in their Raleigh home in Sept 2017
An aspiring pastor who blamed cough medicine on his wife’s brutal death pleaded guilty to first degree murder Friday and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The 911 call made by Phelps — who authorities say was obsessed with the movie “American Psycho” — was played in court Friday morning.
He told investigators he took too much Coricidin, a cold and cough medicine, prior to finding his wife dead.
At Friday’s hearing, the victim’s friends and family wore light blue T-shirts with #LaurensLight written across them, according to The News & Observer.
Prosecutors told the court that Phelps did little to contribute to finances and his wife felt betrayed — she found out about his money habits a few days before her death.
Victim: Lauren Ashley-Nicole Phelps was found knifed to death, on Sept 1, 2017 in her NC home. Her newly husband Mathew has been convicted in her death
Phelps regularly posted to Instagram about the 2000 dark comedy “American Pyscho,” which stars Christian Bale as deranged investment banker Patrick Bateman.
“The movie is about a serial killer, and Phelps expressed interest to a friend regarding what it would be like to kill someone,” a detective wrote in court documents.
Investigators searched for “any video games, movies, pictures or electronic media that might contain evidence of [Phelps’] fascination with felonious or homicidal activity,” according to documents.
Friends told investigators that the couple “would argue frequently” and had been disagreeing about finances, according to police. Matthew Phelps “was spending more money than the couple made,” a detective wrote, and Lauren Phelps “had recently taken drastic steps to limit her husband’s spending.”
Investigators also learned that Lauren Phelps was “preparing to end the relationship,” around the time of her death.
Related: Empty box of cold medicine, bloody sheets found in home of Matthew Phelps, North Carolina pastor accused of brutally stabbing wife
The pastors story started falling apart when cops investigated the blood found blood on him when they arrived at the couple’s home. Detectives reported finding evidence that suggested he cleaned himself up before calling 911.
The police also found Lauren Phelps “clutching hair in hands at the time of her death.”
The detectives matched DNA from the blood samples taken from Matthew Phelps to the hair collected during his wife’s autopsy.
While Phelps was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, closure remains elusive for the victim’s family.
Reading his victim impact statement, the victim’s dad said “I think about what Matt has done all the time, and it never goes away,” Lauren Hugelmaier’s father told the court Friday.
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