Doctors: Albrecht Muth Incompetent to Stand Trial

His lawyers say he has a delusional, schizophrenia-like disorder

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    William Hennessy
    Albrecht Muth in court on Nov. 18, 2011. (Sketch by William Hennessy)

    The trial of a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 91-year-old socialite wife is on hold, pending a more thorough look at a claim that he is not mentally fit to stand in court.

    Albrecht Muth, 47, was known for his bizarre behavior, claiming to be a brigadeer general in the Iraqi army and walking around the Georgetown area in a military uniform, but nowadays he's wearing shackles around his waist and feet.

    His bizarre behavior went largely unchecked until his wife Viola Drath, who was more than 40 years his senior, was beaten and strangled to death in August.

    Today at the D.C. Courthouse, his lawyers say he is incompetent to stand trial, because he has a delusional, schizophrenia-like disorder. He is being held at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, where doctors have put him on medication.

    Lawyers for the prosecution are skeptical of the mental incompetency claim. They asked for -- and were granted -- approval to conduct a psychiatric evaluation using doctors of their own choosing.

    A follow-up hearing has been scheduled for June 21.

    Complete story at wamu.org

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