Husband Competent for Trial in Viola Drath’s Death

Muth weakened by hunger strike

Wednesday, Sep 5, 2012  |  Updated 11:04 PM EDT
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Husband Competent for Trial in Viola Drath’s Death

William Hennessy

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

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Doctors at a D.C. psychiatric hospital say a German man charged with killing his much-older wife is competent to stand trial.

The doctors at St. Elizabeths Hospital said in a report dated Tuesday that 48-year-old Albrecht Muth understands the legal process and appears to want to control the way the case unfolds. But they also said Muth has been weakened by an extended hunger strike.

Muth is charged in the August 2011 beating and strangulation death of 91-year-old Viola Drath, a German journalist and socialite, inside their Georgetown home. He has claimed to be a general in the Iraqi army and has said he receives visits from the archangel Gabriel.

The case has been sidetracked for months by debate on Muth's competence for trial.

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