CRIME

Viola Drath's husband, Albrecht Muth, arrested for murder

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The husband of the 91-year-old writer found dead inside her Georgetown home will appear  in court Wednesday to face murder charges in her death.

Albrecht Muth

D.C. Police confirm Albrecht Muth, 47, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, German-born socialite Viola Drath.

Muth will appear in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Kris Van Cleave witnessed Metropolitan Police Officers arrested Muth Tuesday evening on the corner of 33rd and P Street NW. Homicide detectives searched the streets of Georgetown for Muth. After following him for several blocks on foot and in an unmarked car, they handcuffed and searched the man. He was then loaded into a police car.

 

Drath was found dead last Friday in the bedroom of their Georgetown row house. Her family thanked police for their work Tuesday evening.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our mother and grandmother, Viola Drath. Her intelligence, independence and grace remained intact to the end. Our family is incredibly appreciative of the excellent work of the Metropolitan Police Department, in particular Detectives Gus Giannakoulis and James Wilson,” the Drath family said in a statement.

ABC7’s Kris Van Cleave ran into Muth on Wisconsin Avenue before the man was arrested. Muth wouldn't talk on camera, but said he believed police were not seriously considering him a suspect. There were no signs of forced entry into the home, leading him to believe it was a professional hit.

Muth previously said police told him he was a suspect.“Yes,” Muth e-mailed ABC7 on Tuesday. “And I am agreed. I am the first to look to, even though I do not benefit from her death in any form.”

In another email, one of more than a dozen exchanged with Van Cleave Tuesday, Muth writes: “to you direct, I am in no way linked to my wife's death.”

The odd couple had a stormy 21-year marriage. According to court documents, Drath took him to court several times for abuse – including attacking her with a chair in 2006, pounding her head into the floor and sitting on her.

Authorities dropped that case. Muth’s wife wasn’t the only one who sought protection. Donald Davis, with whom Muth had a long-standing romance, sought a protective order against Muth in 2004. Davis alleged Muth threatened to kill him after he broke off their affair.

Davis said he stands by what's in the public record. "It's all true," Davis told ABC7.

Muth calls the accusations in the protective order as well as those of domestic violence against Drath in 2006 false. He acknowledges a 1992 domestic assault case, writing in an email: "I was convicted for having beaten my wife. I had beaten her."

Muth also goes by the name Sheik Ali Al-Muthaba on his website and has claimed to be a general in the Iraqi army.

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