CRIME

Albrecht Muth, Viola Drath murder suspect, will stay at St. Elizabeth's

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WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - The German-born man charged with killing his socialite wife in Washington will be back in court again in late April after a judge encouraged him Wednesday to continue cooperating with health officials at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.

Muth is accused of killing his wife, Viola Drath. (Photo: WJLA)

Albrecht Muth is charged in the August strangulation and beating death of his 91-year-old wife Viola Drath, a German journalist and socialite.

Muth had been transferred in February to St. Elizabeht's for a competency screening after a doctor said he was delusional and had hallucinatory visions.

Appearing in court in a blue and red sweatshirt, a judge set Muth's next hearing for April 25. In the meantime, Muth will remain at the hospital.

In a letter to D.C. Superior Court officials, St. Elizabeth's Hospital CEO Dr. Patrick Canavan said that while Muth clearly understands the court proceedings and charges against him, the hospital had concerns about his ability to rationally understand the proceedings against him or help his attorneys with his case.

Included in Dr. Canavan's concerns were a series of "unusual beliefs about his criminal case" that are in line with previous claims he has made about Drath's murder, including that the killing was a hit by the Iranian army

The hospital said it believes Muth is currently incompetent to proceed with the case, but his condition is likely to improve with time and treatment.

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