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Man who claims he killed wife after taking cough medicine due in court

Matthew Phelps (ABC photo)

RALEIGH - A Raleigh man accused of killing his wife told a 911 dispatcher that he took too much cold medicine and woke up to find her "dead on the floor."

Early Friday morning, Matthew Phelps, 28, called 911 and told the dispatcher, "I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and she's dead on the floor."

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"I have blood all over me and there's a bloody knife on the bed," Phelps said. "I think I did it."

"I can't believe this," he said.

Matthew Phelps was charged with murder, police said. According to ABC Durham station WTVD, he is being held without bond and is expected to appear in court Tuesday. It was not known if he had an attorney, The Associated Press said.

The Raleigh Police Department released the audio from the 911 call but redacted some information and altered the caller's voice.

Phelps told 911, "I took more medicine than I should have." He said he "took Coricidin Cough & Cold," explaining, "a lot of times I can't sleep at night."

The dispatcher asked if the victim was awake, and Phelps responded, "She's not breathing. Oh my God."

The dispatcher asked if the victim was beyond help, and Phelps emotionally said, "I don't know. I'm too scared to get too close to her. ... I'm so scared."

Sobbing, Phelps said, "She didn't deserve this."

Officers responded and found Matthew Phelps' wife, 29-year-old Lauren Phelps, with stab wounds. She was hospitalized and later died.

Bayer, the makers of Coricidin, said in a statement, "Bayer extends our deepest sympathies to this family."

"Patient safety is our top priority, and we continually monitor adverse events regarding all of our products," Bayer said, adding, "There is no evidence to suggest that Coricidin is associated with violent behavior."

WTVD said the couple had been married since last year.

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