A North Carolina teenager accused of murdering a gay man confessed he carried out the attack after overdosing on cough medicine, police say.

Tapes from emergency calls also suggest that 19-year-old Michael Anderson attacked 36-year-old Stephen Starr after the older man made sexual advances to him – known as the ‘gay panic’ defence.

Starr was found dead at his home in Mountain View on Monday.

He had been shot three times and attacked with an axe. Reports say an obscene word was carved into his skin but police have refused to reveal what the word was.

In tapes of 911 calls, Anderson is heard telling a police dispatcher that he had killed his roommate.

After describing how he killed Starr, he said: “I (overdosed) on Mucinex DM. It makes me feel a little weird and I took too many.”

Abusing the drug can cause psychotic episodes, experts say.

Later, he said the pair had met at a gay bar and Starr had offered him a place to stay.

He said: “I met him and went to his house and he took me in. I turned straight again. And he wanted to touch me and stuff and I wouldn’t let him…and he kept trying.

“And I waited until he went to sleep and I shot him three times. And I mutilated him very badly and I’m sorry… I’m sorry.”

Anderson was due to appear in court today.