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Aspiring a Pastor Accused of Stabbing Wife to Death


Sydney Fox

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I'm not sure what to make of this case. I know that some people have idiosyncratic reactions to medications. Hell, I used to cook full meals while sleeping after taking Ambien. If this man is telling the truth he has my deepest sympathy. If he's lying I hope they throw the book at him.

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Yeah, I don't know either. My whole family sleepwalks and talks without medication in their system, so it's possible he's telling the truth. It's just a little weird that he told the 911 operator that he must have killed her because of the cold medicine. I know people react in different ways to traumatic events, but I think he could have been more concerned about his wife and trying to help her, rather than explaining why he wasn't really responsible for killing her.

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What is this -a new version of the Twinkie defense?

(For those who don't know, the Twinkie defense was used in the trial of Dan White who assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in the mayor's office on 27 November, 1978  White claimed that he was hopped up on sugar from junk food.)

Moscone-Milk assassinations   has a link to the Twinkie defense.

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Most people who sleepwalk at least wake up if something drastic happens...stabbing someone to death isn't quick and it's unlikely that she died immediately/didn't fight back. 

Seems a bit odd to me.

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At first when I heard this I thought the same... but cold medicine can cause mania (at least according to the internet), steroids given for pneumonia pushed a professor of mine into his first manic episode, and I personally saw a (not yet diagnosed) bipolar person take a prescribed antidepressant, he was already super paranoid and so likely on his way to psychosis anyway, subsequently have a full fledged psychotic event (which resulted in hospitalization, so yes, violent) ... He knew exactly what was going on in his head then and was able to detail it to the policemen and doctors while still untreated, and then again to me and his brother later. He believed what was going on in his head to 100% be true and so wasn't inclined to lie. If he had harmed me it's possible a 911 call would have become part of 'the plan'. So, it is plausible.

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They had been married less than a year. I heard about it on GMA. 

Quote

"Phelps’ account shows that he studied missions and evangelism at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Lauren was a Sunday school teacher and Phelps was studying to be a pastor, a friend told ABC."

I'm going for undiagnosed/untreated mental illness.  

Quote

“I took more medicine than I should have,” he said. “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.”

 

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12 hours ago, Howl said:

I'm going for undiagnosed/untreated mental illness.  

Quote

“I took more medicine than I should have,” he said. “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.”

 

This seems like a possibility. It doesn't sound like he was taking Coricidin because he actually had a cold. I wonder if he was taking anything else as well.

On the recording of the 911 call, he sounds really out of it at the beginning, and then gets more upset as the call goes on--which is what I'd expect if he's telling the truth. But it does seem hard to believe that he wouldn't have woken up at some point. I don't know enough about the effects of Coricidin to know if it could really have led to this.

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The police have charged him with her death and her family left him out of the obituary. Sounds like nobody is buying his 'the cough syrup made me do it' defense.

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51 minutes ago, VaSportsMom said:

Sounds like nobody is buying his 'the cough syrup made me do it' defense.

I'm not surprised. Maybe I've spent too much time reading about the JonBenet case, but that 911 transcript sounds really suspect to me-- rationalizing his own behavior and distancing himself from the situation right away. And while I know people can idiosyncratic reactions to all kinds of meds, we aren't exactly talking about PCP here. And there are only a handful of alleged "homicidal sleepwalking" cases on record, while unfortunately spousal murder is not uncommon. So I'm thinking it comes down to the simplest explanation here.

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So the oldest of Matthew Phelps' cover photos shows him as the groom in a wedding in 2012...looks like he was previously married and divorced to another student from his Bible college.

http://www.bgdailynews.com/community/announcements/engagements/bowlin-phelps/article_8e44fc45-d544-5273-9164-56ab4d756264.html

I would be very interested to know what happened there.

His family have also hired Joseph Cheshire, one of the most (if not the most) respected defense attorneys in NC...and he doesn't do pro bono cases apparently. So this could get interesting. For example, he was the attorney in the Duke Lacrosse sex scandal.

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55 minutes ago, Aine said:

So the oldest of Matthew Phelps' cover photos shows him as the groom in a wedding in 2012...looks like he was previously married and divorced to another student from his Bible college.

http://www.bgdailynews.com/community/announcements/engagements/bowlin-phelps/article_8e44fc45-d544-5273-9164-56ab4d756264.html

I would be very interested to know what happened there.

His family have also hired Joseph Cheshire, one of the most (if not the most) respected defense attorneys in NC...and he doesn't do pro bono cases apparently. So this could get interesting. For example, he was the attorney in the Duke Lacrosse sex scandal.

Wow, good fine Aine! I'd love to know the backstory here. Not a typical would-be Baptist pastor, is he?

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18 minutes ago, Sydney Fox said:

Wow, good fine Aine! I'd love to know the backstory here. Not a typical would-be Baptist pastor, is he?

You wouldn't think he would be positioned for a Baptist pastor position.

Lauren definitely attended and was the Sunday school teacher at a Lutheran church though even though he went to a Baptist Bible College and his family all seem to be Baptist. Not the normal trajectory at all.

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His 911 phone call is what makes me think he did it. Way too much explaining as to what he thinks he did. This is his second marriage. There is no way he would be able to divorce a second time and still early pastor. Maybe she was planning on divorcing him and he wasn't going to allow that to happen. So many fundie/religious Christian spousal murders are about avoiding divorce. I bet this me is too.

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I checked the back of my box of Coricidin to see what the cautions and side effects were.

You should avoid Coricidin if you are also taking an MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor.  MAO inhibitors are prescribed for depression, psychiatric and emotional disorders and Parkinson's.  You should ask your doctor before use if you have glaucoma, trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate or COPD.  You should also ask your physician if you are taking sedatives or tranquilizers.  Excitability may occur, especially in children and marked drowsiness may occur especially if you drink or take sedating/tranquilizing meds.

It sure doesn't sound like Coricidin would cause the tragedy that occurred.

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  • 1 month later...

She was found curled up in the fetal position, which means she saw it coming and it took a while.  How awful.

The amount of force required to stab a human being and pull a knife out if significant.  You cant do that in a "zombie" state.  Add a slippery handle from blood and theres no way he wasnt cut to hell from his hand slipping if he wasnt acutely aware of what he was doing.

You would have thought he could have come up with a better story than cough syrup.  SODDI (some other dude did it) would have been a better way to go.

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