An aspiring pastor in North Carolina who allegedly killed his wife while high on cough syrup last week made his first court appearance on Tuesday.
Matthew James Phelps, 29, called police last week stating that he had a dream and woke up to his brutally murdered wife, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. Lauren Ashley-Nicole Phelps, 29, was found fatally stabbed at the townhouse where they both lived.
The two had been married less than a year.
According to BuzzFeed, Phelps admitted to taking too much Coricidin Cough & Cold the night of the killing.
Phelps did not enter a plea during Tuesday’s hearing, according to PEOPLE. His attorney, Joseph Cheshire, urged the public to not rush to conclusions.
“It’s a very tragic situation — sad and tragic. And at the same time, we have to ask everybody to withhold judgement in this particular case until we know more and we’re able to develop more,” Cheshire said, according to local TV station WRAL. “There’s a lot to this story I believe that will be told in the future.”
“I had a dream, and then I turned on the lights and she’s dead on the floor,” Phelps said in the chaotic 911 call. “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.”
Lauren was a Sunday school teacher and Matthew was studying to be a pastor, ABC News reports. The aspiring pastor is now being held without bail.
A YouCaring fundraising page has been set up for Lauren’s family.