Man accused of killing socialite wife too ill to represent self

Capital Land,Scott McCabe

The Georgetown man accused of killing his much-older socialite wife is not mentally and physically able to represent himself in his murder trial, a D.C. judge ruled Thursday.

Judge Russell Canan temporarily suspended Albrecht Muth's right to be his own lawyer after Muth failed to show up for a status hearing for the second consecutive week. Defense attorneys who said they have been investigating the case as if they were Murth's attorney will take over as co-counsel.

Muth, 47, has been on a fast for more than 60 days. He was taken from the D.C. jail Wednesday to a hospital.

Canan spoke on phone to a medical director supervising Muth's status from the courtroom.

"If his situation does not change, he will be in a grave condition," Canan said.

Muth — who is also known as Count Albi —  is accused of beating and strangling his 91-year-old wife Viola Drath, a German journalist and socialite.

He claims to be an officer of the Iraqi army and has fought to be allowed to wear his military uniform in the courtroom, but prosecutors say he is lying about his military status.


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