Standing With the Family and Friends of Lauren Hugelmaier

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” ― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed link


Lauren Hugelmaier's Memorial Fund

I didn't know Lauren Hugelmaier personally but I knew her by sight. She was even more beautiful in person than she is in her pictures. I know you would remember seeing her as well. She was full of life which was punctuated by her incredibly joyful smile. It was one of those smiles that was so infectious that you would smile just seeing it. I know because I did and so did many others.

She loved children and spent a lot of time in her wonderful church home, Hope Lutheran Church, serving the kids as a teacher and mentor. How those kids were blessed to have known her and how hard it must be for them to understand…

"We should not be here," said the pastor as he and the other pastors presided over her funeral. Yes, it is sad when old people die but it is expected. Who can fully grasp being present for a funeral for a beautiful, young life, senselessly cut short?

The church was packed and everyone I saw was clutching tissues. There is much to be said for being in a church in which people know each other as so many knew Lauren and her family. The kindness, skill and love of the pastors was evident as they somehow managed to bring hope into the middle of grief and disbelief. For days, I have pondered how difficult it must be to counsel a family in the midst of such a tragedy. I asked one pastor about that and he told me that such is the time to fall back on the words of Scripture when you have no words of your own.

Sadly, the circumstances surrounding Lauren's death have found their way into the news media around the globe. Grieving in private is next to impossible in this context. May God give this dear family strength to walk this difficult road.

As most of our readers know, The Wartburg Watch is a blog which stands with victims and their families. For those of you who have not heard this story in the news (I do not know how one could avoid it), the following link will provide an overview of the tragedy. I do not wish to review those details here since it is possible that those close to the situation may read this.

Warning: Contents are disturbing

Overview from the News and Observer (Local Raleigh newspaper)

Victims' advocates around the globe are standing with the Hugelmaier family

As reports of the tragedy spread quickly, a number of victims' advocates, doubting the story of "the cold medicine made me do it," began researching and uncovering what some are calling a "secret life" on the part of Phelps. The two of us are heartened by the efforts of those advocates to bring light into this situation in order that justice may be served. No, they are not gossips. They care deeply for those who suffer because many of them have walked this path as well. So they use their skills to bring infomration to light to help victims and their families.

Once again, instead of discussing the details, we are providing the links to the stories so you can read the details for yourself. 

Warning: Contents are disturbing.

High profile attorney, Joseph Cheshire, will make sure that his defense of his client gets maximum social media coverage.

Phelps pleaded not guilty in a court appearance. He could face the death penalty or life without parole for his crime of 1st degree murder. His attorney, Joseph Cheshire, was the attorney in the Duke Lacrosse case. He also was the attorney for the pedophile, Doug Goodrich, who molested teen boys at Providence Baptist Church.

The other factor which makes this an even more high profile situation is there will likely be involvement of the Bayer Company which makes Coricidin, the medicine that Phelps allegedly took.

Although we believe that everyone is entitled to the best defense possible, we also know that the tactics which could be employed by the defense could be hurtful to Lauren's family and friends. For example, have you noticed the distancing employed with calling Lauren *a young lady*? She has a name and she was more than just a young lady in Phelps' life.

Matthew’s family and all of us at my firm really send our deep condolences to the family of the young lady. 

I cannot begin to imagine how hard it will be for the family to relive this over and over again. I am sure that they have received good counsel.

TWW stands with the family of Lauren Hugelmaier.

After considering the evidence presented on Phelps' media accounts, we believe that it was not Coricidin that *caused* or is responsible for this horrific act. Even Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent, agrees.

However, this medicine made me do it. That’s not an uncommon way for people in his position to respond.”

It is our hope and prayer that truth and justice will be served. It doesn't bring Lauren back to her family, but it does help to provide some closure for those who loved her. Her family and friends have our prayers and sympathy. If there is anything we can do to be of assistance, we are here and our website is at their disposal.

Lauren Hugelmaier's Memorial Fund (link)

Many have asked if there is something concrete that can be done for the family. Given the high profile nature of this situation, we believe that the family may incur a number of expenses. A family friend set up this fund for the family who I know will use this money wisely. No one asked us to do this. I happened to find the fund while doing some research for this post.

Here is information provided on the fund's page.

Lauren Hugelmaier's life tragically ended on September 1, 2017.  She was only 29 years old.  As we grieve Lauren's loss, there are financial challenges that lie ahead.  This fund will be used to help ease the financial burden for her grieving family.  Any amount big or small will be greatly appreciated.  

When you get to this part of the post, would you stop for a moment and pray for this dear family? While you do, listen to this song "Legacy", which was played during Lauren's funeral because it was her favorite song.

To Lauren's family: she did leave a legacy, and many people now know about this outstanding young woman who loved God, kids, and her family and always had a smile that lit up any room she entered. She will be terribly missed!

Commenting Note: 

According to the many articles I have read, the family wishes for Lauren to be known by her maiden name, Lauren Hugelmaier, which makes a whole lot of sense. Also, please be considerate in your comments. Our hope is that Lauren's family will know that many people from all over the world are standing with them in their time of grief. 


Comments

Standing With the Family and Friends of Lauren Hugelmaier — 89 Comments

  1. Keeping Lauren’s family and friends in my prayers. So sorry they are going through this terrible ordeal. 🙁

  2. From your post:

    “For days, I have pondered how difficult it must be to counsel a family in the midst of such a tragedy. I asked one pastor about that and he told me that ‘such is the time to fall back on the words of Scripture when you have no words of your own.'”

    Very wise. Thank God for godly leadership.

  3. Pray for the family – been at it for days. This has been all over the news.

    I don’t believe the otc medicine had anything to to with this man’s action. It’s just a woe is me excuse. How is it possible for a man who can commit such a horrific crime pretend to be a man of God?

  4. Off Topic.
    Deb and Dee, I didn’t know if you’d be interested in this:

    Petition Against the Wrongful Firing of Dr. Eric Johnson
    https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/petition-against-the-wrongful-firing-of-dr-eric

    From what I can gather, a believer in Bible-only for psychology / counseling (“Heath Lambert, a 2009 counseling PhD graduate of S.B.T.S.”) is trying to get this other guy (17 year staff guy) fired because this guy believe it’s okay to consult other books outside of the Bible to help patients/ clients.

    From the page:

    Heath Lambert is a pastor who has set himself against Dr. Johnson since he was an M.Div. student at SBTS.

    Now as the executive director of ACBC, he is able to influence large churches who have deep commitments to the Bible-only counseling philosophy.

    Lambert, along with pastors convinced of the ACBC philosophy, used their influence as leverage with Mohler by threatening to disparage the seminary and send students elsewhere if they do not fire Johnson.

  5. My heart broke when I heard about this story. My sincere condolences to Lauren’s family and friends.

  6. Praying for Lauren’s family and all those who knew and loved her. May God bring you peace and comfort, as only He can, and may justice be served swiftly for everyone’s sake.

  7. Just a day or two before the story broke, I happened to watch Steven Soderbergh’s excellent film “Side Effects” (2013), which has more-or-less the same plot. [Spoiler warning!] A woman claims that she murdered her husband while during a sleep-like trance induced by a psychiatric drug she was supposedly taking, although we find out otherwise in the end.

  8. Very disturbing.

    The husband’s defense doesn’t sound legit to me. He had a secret life which he was able to keep hidden. Also, immediately blaming a cold medicine, sounds manipulative, dicey.

    Prayers for the victim’s family. I cannot imagine losing a daughter in this manner.

  9. Portion of article on heavy.com:

    “Matt Phelps is originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, according to his Facebook page. He works at Dunlap Lawn Service in Greensboro, North Carolina.

    According to his Facebook page, Phelps, who has been described as an aspiring pastor, studied at missions and evangelism at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College in Pineville, Kentucky. He graduated from the school in 2011, he wrote on Facebook. According to a wedding announcement in a local newspaper, Phelps was previously married to a fellow Clear Creek graduate while he was still living in Kentucky. Their engagement was announced in 2011, but it is not clear when they were married and when they divorced.”

  10. Absolutely tragic, & to call this beautiful woman who was married to her murderer ‘a young lady’ rather than his wife is just the appalling icing on this far-fetched cake.

  11. Mae wrote:

    Very disturbing.
    The husband’s defense doesn’t sound legit to me. He had a secret life which he was able to keep hidden. Also, immediately blaming a cold medicine, sounds manipulative, dicey.
    Prayers for the victim’s family. I cannot imagine losing a daughter in this manner.

    Not to mention the use of the term “the young lady” makes it pretty weird as well. No, there’s probably way more going on here then we will ever know.

  12. Words fail me at the loss of Lauren Hugelmaier. My deepest sympathy to the family and to their community of faith for their loss. It is truly tragic. It is my hope and prayer that her legacy and the love of Christ sustains you in the years ahead.

    I also hope that justice is done and the criminal pays for his crime to the fullest extent of the law. He is the one who deserves not to be named. I hope that he too comes to know Christ, but in a place far far away where he cannot hurt another living soul.

  13. What a tragedy. My condolences to the family. May they take some comfort in knowing that there are many who weep with them.

  14. Sam wrote:

    Not to mention the use of the term “the young lady” makes it pretty weird as well. No, there’s probably way more going on here then we will ever know.

    I also found it unusual that the article would post two photos of Lauren without the wedding ring. Where’s the wedding ring?

  15. After reading all the links about the case, I’m thinking Phelps needs a full psychiatric evaluation. Some have argued that he took the medicine on purpose to get high or have a handy defense. I suppose you could also chalk it up to the demonic, Hollywood style. Based on his history of nightmares, and what he put on social media, I think there is a high likelihood of undiagnosed mental illness. That doesn’t get him off the hook for what he did, but hopefully it would shed light on how to go about handling him from here on out.

    “According to a wedding announcement in a local newspaper, Phelps was previously married to a fellow Clear Creek graduate while he was still living in Kentucky. Their engagement was announced in 2011, but it is not clear when they were married and when they divorced.”

    I’m sure it will be informative when the prosecutor interviews his ex-wife.

    Dee, my condolences to you and Lauren Hugelmaier’s family as you all deal with this. I hope you are well.

  16. Found this quote from someone named Jack Vance

    “What is an evil man? The man is evil who coerces obedience to his private ends, destroys beauty, produces pain, extinguishes life.”

    Fits.

  17. This is terribly sad.

    This man was trying to be a pastor? It’s getting to where that is a legitimate red flag.

  18. Beakerj wrote:

    Absolutely tragic, & to call this beautiful woman who was married to her murderer ‘a young lady’ rather than his wife is just the appalling icing on this far-fetched cake.

    Yes. Insanely tone deaf, for a pr statement, although I suppose they are trying to minimize the public connection to her in favor of their client?

  19. It seems obvious he’s guilty and the medicine thing is the most transparent of excuses.

    His social media posts, though, just read like those of a million other emo kids. I’m sure the prosecution won’t need to rely on them for evidence.

  20. Lea wrote:

    Yes. Insanely tone deaf, for a pr statement, although I suppose they are trying to minimize the public connection to her in favor of their client?

    My take too. A defense attorney’s only goal is to Defend their Client (at least until the money runs out), and to a lot of them this means By Any (Legal) Means Necessary.

    Trial by Social Media; whoever puts their Spin out on Social Media first and most becomes Truth.

    And since the perp was on the road to Pastor, will the Church close ranks behind him or does “Rally Round the Perp” apply only to child sex abuse?

  21. TheCaptain wrote:

    It seems obvious he’s guilty and the medicine thing is the most transparent of excuses.

    Remember: The original Twinkie Defense worked.

    His social media posts, though, just read like those of a million other emo kids. I’m sure the prosecution won’t need to rely on them for evidence.

    Remember the Santa Barbara Shooter? Left a Social Media trail of his Manifesto and hundreds of Selfies?

  22. Divorce Minister wrote:

    I can’t image the pain and shock.

    Shock is the perfect word for what everyone feels in this situation. Somehow, you can never imagine something like this happening.

  23. Mae wrote:

    The husband’s defense doesn’t sound legit to me. He had a secret life which he was able to keep hidden. Also, immediately blaming a cold medicine, sounds manipulative, dicey.

    It’s called “Immediately lay the foundation for a Twinkie Defense Insanity Plea, right in the initial 911 call.”

    His lack of emotion in the call does seem suspicious, but one reaction to something like he described IS to “numb out” and go completely “Mr Spock” from shock. That was my reaction to my mother’s death in 1975. Not saying that’s what happened, just it IS a possibility. And faking it (or his defense claiming that) is also a possibility.

    And my skim of the article mentioned Lauren had “multiple stab wounds”. Does this indicate a frenzy? Like you’d expect if the perp really hated his victim and wanted to hurt even their corpse as much as possible?

  24. Beakerj wrote:

    & to call this beautiful woman who was married to her murderer ‘a young lady’ rather than his wife is just the appalling icing on this far-fetched cake.

    I am glad that you were bothered by it as well. I fumed for a couple of days before I wrote about that aspect. I decided my gut response was correct. It is downplaying who she is.

  25. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I don’t believe the otc medicine had anything to to with this man’s action. It’s just a woe is me excuse. How is it possible for a man who can commit such a horrific crime pretend to be a man of God?

    Look at the MenaGAWD who have come under scrutiny here, at Spiritual Sounding Board, at Wondering Eagle… Just this guy got REALLY physical with the horrific crime.

    Oh, and that’s “Poor Poor Me excuse”. Remember one of the most definitive characteristics of a sociopath is the ability to turn the tables, shift the blame, and play the Poor Poor Pitiful Real Victim” at the flick of a switch.

  26. Sam wrote:

    Not to mention the use of the term “the young lady” makes it pretty weird as well.

    Good, I am heartened that you see if the way that I did.

  27. Ken G wrote:

    Where’s the wedding ring?

    Assume that it is not odd. Reread my closing commenting note. Given what has happened, this seems logical and understandable.

  28. TheCaptain wrote:

    His social media posts, though, just read like those of a million other emo kids.

    I have seen several comment to that effect on social media. However, given the background of this guy, it is highly unusual and worrisome. A person who wishes to be a pastor would never be found posting such dark stuff.

  29. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    A defense attorney’s only goal is to Defend their Client (at least until the money runs out), and to a lot of them this means By Any (Legal) Means Necessary.

    Think about this. What if someone is aiming at big pockets as is possible in this situation?

  30. I hope the pd did not drop the ball. Hope they got the right blood tests, maybe stomach content tests. Should be able to tell if he took the meds before or after the murder with good forensics.

    Not a defense of him even if he took them prior, as he made the choice to of on them and so should be responsible. But does sound like he may have been mentally ill to start with and self medicated to a bad end.

    Prayers for her family, his family, all involved, and for our system to get better at dealing with insanity proactively rather than reactively.

  31. dee wrote:

    Sam wrote:

    Not to mention the use of the term “the young lady” makes it pretty weird as well.

    Good, I am heartened that you see if the way that I did.

    The term “young lady” could be applied to to a myriad of women. But to mention Lauren Hugelmeier by name humanizes her specifically. It’s one way for the defense to remain aloof from the actual and real victim of this horrific crime. They will attempt to do everything possible to paint Phelps, their client, as a victim. Let’s hope and pray that they are unsuccessful.

  32. dee wrote:

    @ Paul D.:
    I somehow missed that movie. Thank you for mentioning it.

    It is also similar to a subplot in a recent episode of the CBS legal drama “Doubt.” I can try to find the date of the episode, but it would have been in late July or August. The show had absolutely horrible ratings in spite of having some well-known actors in the cast (Elliott Ness, Judith Light, Katherine Heigl) and has since been canceled. I may have been the only one watching! In the episode, a woman claims that she awakened from a very vivid dream to find that she has fatally stabbed her best friend. The audience is shown enough to see that it was a very violent act. She shows up at the police station and very stoically and matter-of-factly states that she has killed someone. Her defense is that she has a sleep disorder that causes her to act out her dreams. She is found not guilty, and then there is a moment shown between her and the victim’s husband that shows that this was actually a planned murder and that they got away with it.
    I’m sorry if it’s insensitive to mention this here, but when I first read about Lauren’s case, I thought, “That sounds like a TV show that I just saw.” I am truly sorry for her family’s tragic loss.

  33. dee wrote:

    Think about this. What if someone is aiming at big pockets as is possible in this situation?

    Cheshire could be laying the foundation for a civil suit against Bayer, but that will only happen if he can convince a jury that his client is not legally liable due to the medicine’s interference with Phelps’ thinking.

    Personally, I think Cheshire is trying to get Phelps a light sentence and thus further his own reputation as an effective defense attorney, which will allow him to increase his fees and rates.

  34. Edit to my not-yet-approved comment above: the actor’s name should be Elliott Gould. Lol

    And I think that the episode aired on August 12.

  35. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    It’s called “Immediately lay the foundation for a Twinkie Defense Insanity Plea, right in the initial 911 call.”

    Yep. Wouldn’t be surprised to find a bunch of research was done on his computer prior to this on potential side effects.
    TheCaptain wrote:

    His social media posts, though, just read like those of a million other emo kids.

    I didn’t see most of it. I suspect hearing from his ex will be more enlightening.

  36. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Yes, I certainly believe people can be so traumatized as to go “numb” with their emotions. Not everyone acts identical to horrific situations.

    I don’t view the husband as having numbed out. Why mention the Coricida right away? Besides the fact he had a dark side he hid. IMO, the mentally unbalanced don’t hide their sickness, it’s obvious to everyone. The sociopath, on the other hand, is very clever at mimicking normal behavior.

    Sure do hope local CSI did a thorough job, and that the DA is competent.

    The victim’s family will need much emotional support. They’ve lost a daughter in a very vile manner. In all probability it will be a contentious trial.

  37. Darlene wrote:

    The term “young lady” could be applied to to a myriad of women. But to mention Lauren Hugelmeier by name humanizes her specifically. It’s one way for the defense to remain aloof from the actual and real victim of this horrific crime. They will attempt to do everything possible to paint Phelps, their client, as a victim. Let’s hope and pray that they are unsuccessful.

    Good point. Society often tries to reduce women to objects and/or children/human subspecies. As you pointed out, giving her a name, means acknowledging her humanity and therefore, her status as a child of God -a gift from our Heavenly Father who had a purpose to accomplish here on earth. Without a name, without a title (a.k.a. “my dear”, “my wife”), without a family (ex: “your daughter”, “your child”), she is nothing but a useless, undesirable, worthless female. “Young lady” might as well apply to a nameless prostitute that police found in an alley somewhere. I am sickened that the judge did not force that man and his attorney to acknowledge the victim as a person as well as the family that had lost her.

    For shame!

  38. Lea wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    It’s called “Immediately lay the foundation for a Twinkie Defense Insanity Plea, right in the initial 911 call.”

    Yep. Wouldn’t be surprised to find a bunch of research was done on his computer prior to this on potential side effects.

    Which would have left a trail.

  39. High profile attorney, Joseph Cheshire, will make sure that his defense of his client gets maximum social media coverage.

    “High profile attorneys” DON’T come cheap.
    We’re talking several hundred dollars (if not over a thousand) an hour, minimum.
    Where’s all that $$$$$$$$ coming from?

    And since what’s on Social Media now defines Reality…

  40. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Where’s all that $$$$$$$$ coming from?

    That was one of my first thoughts too. Where does a guy who works for a lawn care service get that caliber of attorney?

  41. Wish I had a few extra bucks to donate, but right now all monies are going toward local folks and Harvey victims.

  42. A.Tumbleweed wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Where’s all that $$$$$$$$ coming from?
    That was one of my first thoughts too. Where does a guy who works for a lawn care service get that caliber of attorney?

    Have to check out his parents . Maybe they have deep purse strings.

  43. Mae wrote:

    Have to check out his parents . Maybe they have deep purse strings.

    He could also be doing this because this story went ‘viral’ so to speak. So…publicity. Would depend on how quickly he was on board.

  44. So sorry she left us so young. What a beautiful girl inside and out. Sending my love to her family. What a beautiful life she was while she was here.

    Dee can you glance under prayer request when you have a moment.

  45. dee wrote:

    Where’s the wedding ring?
    Assume that it is not odd. Reread my closing commenting note. Given what has happened, this seems logical and understandable.

    That’s the norm for me. I never wear my rings unless I’m going somewhere ………. Garden dirt, biscuit dough, etc really messes the rings up so mine stay in a safe, clean place most of the time.

  46. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I never wear my rings unless I’m going somewhere ………. Garden dirt, biscuit dough, etc really messes the rings up so mine stay in a safe, clean place most of the time.

    A local store sells these workout friendly wedding rings made of plastic I think, for people who do a lot of things outside that can mess up their rings.

  47. Christian Post article subhead says perp regularly drank Coricidin to sleep.
    On top of everything else, sounds like he may have been addicted to it.

    Inside Edition quotes perp’s (high-priced) attorney as saying his client has been through a LOT of trauma. Starting a Sympathy Ploy on Social Media?

    Both mention couple were big into Star Wars. From my experience in SF/Gamer/Comics/proto-Anime/Furry Fandom, fandoms do not attract the most stable people (me included). Normally this instability is expressed as “harmless eccentricity”, but sometimes you get a fan who takes it too far, to the point of obsession or worse. (Though taking it to the point of homicide is VERY VERY rare; like maybe once every ten years in the entire country.)

  48. Lea wrote:

    He could also be doing this because this story went ‘viral’ so to speak. So…publicity. Would depend on how quickly he was on board.

    If KFI’s morning drive-time talk show host (a mouthy lawyer) wasn’t just getting outrageous, media ***** (ed) lawyers are considered even lower than ambulance chasers. (His subject at the time was celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, who has a complete press-conference room in her offices for media blitzes.)

  49. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    You know, the reason I don’t buy the mentally ill excuse for sociopaths is because they are masters of deception. They know how to act properly to suck people into their manipulative web. They are just evil. But sadly, society will diagnose, put him in a comfy institution and he will be out in 20 years.

    She is dead. She must not be minimized. We must remind the sleazy lawyer and the public about Lauren. Sociopaths suck the air out of every room.

    The Injustice just boils my blood.

  50. Lydia wrote:

    Sociopaths suck the air out of every room.

    And I know this happens all the time probably in the past, but it seems like every other story I read is a death related to violence from an intimate partner. There was one in Plano (?) just the other day where the husband came to a party and nine people are dead. Because she left him.

    This guy set up his story immediately on the 911 call. I hope nobody in the jury buys it.

  51. Regarding the assailant’s claim that Coricidin made him do it:

    Yesterday on NPR was a report on the very deep pockets of the pharmaceutical companies (most profitable part of the medical industry by far) in the United States.

    The assailant and his lawyer have their work cut out for them in trying to blame the cough medicine for the murder. The pharmaceutical company will not let this slide, as it shifts the blame on them for murder. They, too, have lawyers.

  52. Lea wrote:

    Lydia wrote:

    This guy set up his story immediately on the 911 call. I hope nobody in the jury buys it.

    On the other hand, if the jury doesn’t buy the cough medicine / dream story, then that 911 call helps to make it all look pre-meditated, like he was planning and trying to manage perception of the events from the start.
    I am so sorry for her family’s loss. This must be unbelievably hard for them.

  53. JYJames wrote:

    The assailant and his lawyer have their work cut out for them in trying to blame the cough medicine for the murder. The pharmaceutical company will not let this slide, as it shifts the blame on them for murder.

    I believe the lawyer could try to show that the routine use of the cough syrup in excessive quantities is evidence that the assailant was attempting to self-medicate some mental condition to establish grounds for a diminished mental capacity plea which means the assailant was incapable of premeditation required for the murder. Thus, the use of the cough syrup is an indicator of mental problems and not the cause of the behavior.

  54. @ JYJames:
    And they often settle because jury’s hate big pharma. Which makes it even more expensive. Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far.

  55. If Mr. Phelps had such a hard time sleeping at night, why didn’t he get medical help in the form of a doctor to prescribe him something, instead of taking otc medicine. It would have been a much more effective use. I’m sure the prosecutor will bring this out. I’m not buying his excuse at all.

  56. Lydia wrote:

    We must remind the sleazy lawye

    I’m not commenting specific to this tragedy but how about reminding the police and prosecutors to ensure procedures are followed? In the US and Canada the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt the charges being brought against the defendant.
    Here in Canada we have not always caught the right person (example Guy Paul Morin who convicted in the slaying of a young girl but exonerated a decade later with DNA evidence)
    So often charges are dropped or evidence is not allowed because people who should know better didn’t follow the rules. And then it’s all the defense lawyers fault.
    Our system sometimes stinks – look up Omar Khadr and his 10 million dollar payout to see what the consequence is when don’t follow our bill of rights/constitution.

  57. dee wrote:

    A person who wishes to be a pastor would never be found posting such dark stuff.

    I’m thinking this has less to do with Christianity and more to do with mental illness. This man may have thought joining the ministry would somehow cure him of whatever his brain was telling him. Magical thinking has reared its ugly head in other situations (from what I’ve read many of the priests who abused children also thought somehow giving their lives to the service of God would “cure” them of their compulsions)

  58. Jack wrote:

    I’m thinking this has less to do with Christianity

    I’m thinking that this man is a filthy, rotten sinner who got involved in evil behavior by dabbling in the wrong kingdom. My Bible says that no murder has eternal life dwelling in them. By murdering his wife, he answered the question as to whether or not he was a “christian”. Whatever thinking he used, magical or not, his actions show that it was twisted and evil. He is evil personified, and deserves to be punished according to all that the law under which he lived will allow. I don’t think it has anything to do with “Christianity”. Evil does what evil does, regardless of the cover story they use.

  59. @ Jack:
    Not saying that at all. I do think the interested public has every right to keep the victim front and center using whatever platform they can. The media always focuses on the defendant and pretty soon if you’re just looking at mainstream media you don’t even know who the victim was or the backstory.

    I am a big believer in due process. However I’m not naive enough to think that money can’t buy Justice.

  60. __

    Mr. Phelps, that bottle of ‘cough medicine defense’ ™ will self-destruct in five seconds…

  61. May Lauren’s family know the comfort from the Holy Spirit in an unimaginably painful time. I pray that they will draw strength from the Lord and his people for their healing and for the journey ahead seeking justice for Lauren.

  62. Dee,

    Thank you for writing about this wisely, proactively, and sensitively ahead of time and for this post. I cannot think of a way for the defense attorney to refer to Lauren that would have been received well if I were Lauren’s mother, honestly. “Miss Hugelmaier” perhaps might have been better since it would have been an explicit acknowledgement that she is owed the dignity of her maiden name, at the very least. Not a smart PR move for a defense attorney, obviously, but the most decent human thing to do, IMO.

    Bayer is not going to roll over. How much Coricidin would someone have to take to dissociate and become psychotic enough to do what this guy did but not take enough to have a seizures or a heart attack which would kill himself? Coricidin is not going to get this guy off, though it might get him life instead of the alternative.

    I wonder if Mr. Cheshire’s main role is in front of the camera and in the courtroom while he has somewhat junior staff doing the behind-the-scenes work of preparing the case. That would make sense, I think. The ex-wife and the guy’s social media will have quite a story to tell, but will it be evil or mental illness?

  63. I am following Lauren’s story and legacy here from Canada. While there’s a million stories and pictures out there, Lauren’s story has really struck a cord. I have faith that she is back home with Jesus, the home she came from. There is no doubt that she left a legacy behind, I thought the song posted above is a beautiful song, and it demonstrates where her heart has always been. I am 25, and I will always follow her story and stand next to the family spiritually and emotionally from afar. Be strong! There will always be prayers coming from this part of the world.

  64. Gram3 wrote:

    The ex-wife and the guy’s social media will have quite a story to tell, but will it be evil or mental illness?

    My guess will be mental illness because it’s the easiest cover story for evil. Society, in general, doesn’t like the concept of evil except for bad guys in movies and on television. They can’t label someone as evil because they have denied their own evil for generations now.

  65. @ dee:
    As a fashion blogger, her posts are media savvy, bright, fun, and engaging. Was it expected that as a Christian wife, she would shift to promoting his ministry aspirations to make him successful? Many husbands’ ministries are built on wife investment. Maybe she didn’t realize that was part of the deal.

  66. Sopwith wrote:

    __
    Mr. Phelps, that bottle of ‘cough medicine defense’ ™ will self-destruct in five seconds…

    Remember: The Twinkie and Affluenza defenses WORKED.

  67. Lydia wrote:

    Ministry jobs are great cover for evil.

    …I turned and saw that this also is a great evil under the sun…

  68. I have seen a family member’s fb post (friend of a friend), who said that Phelps was not a pastor or studying to be one. That part of the news is fake news based on someone’s assumptions about a certificate he did 6 years ago. He worked for a lawn service and was not in ministry.

  69. Mrs Ell Childs wrote:

    I have seen a family member’s fb post (friend of a friend), who said that Phelps was not a pastor or studying to be one

    Thank you for your comment. I knew that if he was studying to be a pastor, he would have probably been enrolled in some sort of M Div program. As far as I know, he wasn’t. One new source said he had just signed up to be an Uber driver.

    I am praying for the family daily.

  70. Mrs Ell Childs wrote:

    I have seen a family member’s fb post (friend of a friend), who said that Phelps was not a pastor or studying to be one. That part of the news is fake news based on someone’s assumptions about a certificate he did 6 years ago. He worked for a lawn service and was not in ministry.

    OK. So that part of the story was inaccurate, based on a wrong or mistaken assumption.

    (Note: “Fake news” implies the story was deliberate disinformation. Unless “Pastor Phelps” was started by his defense lawyer or supporters, it’s better to say that part of the news got it wrong.)

    Other than that, how did the church angle get into a story about domestic violence murder and subsequent legal maneuvering?

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Other than that, how did the church angle get into a story about domestic violence murder and subsequent legal maneuvering?

    My question precisely. Certainly, the media often gets things wrong, but it seems likely they didn’t add that for no reason.

  72. Because they (the news media) saw on his FB profile that he did a certificate at bible college six years ago and from there the assumption and Chinese whisper has grown like Pinocchio’s nose . It is confirmed by family (not through public media) that he was not a pastor or aspiring to be and he was not in ministry. Whether you say the media got it wrong or whatever, the deliberate wording of that line and the associated inferences is fake news. He is a cold blooded killer. He was not a pastor. I would share directly what the family have said but that is not my liberty to do so as I am merely a friend of a friend who saw this on my FB news feed.

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