D.C.

Albrecht Muth competent to stand trial in murder case

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Albrecht Muth has been ruled competent to stand trial, ABC7 learned Thursday.

Muth has been formally arraigned on the murder charge for the killing of his 91-year-old wife, Viola Drath in their Georgetown home more than a year ago. Muth has chosen to represent himself in court.

The murder trial for Muth has been sidetracked for months by debate over his mental stability and ability to stand trial. During a mental competency hearing early in December, state psychiatrists testified about Muth and had some interesting things to say.

Muth is charged in the August 2011 beating and strangulation death of Drath, a German journalist and socialite, inside the Georgetown home.

Doctors at St. Elizabeth's Hospital initially said Muth was too delusional to stand trial, but they later concluded he was trying to manipulate the legal system.

In evaluating Muth, doctors used words like eclectic, unique and arrogant. A man unto himself. It was similar to the way neighbors in Georgetown describe him.

“Definitely a different kind of guy,” said one.

In court, Muth declared he doesn't want an attorney and will represent himself. But when the judge told him to prepare for a March trial, Muth told the judge in a bizarre almost ominous exchange: There would be no trial in March.

Muth was taken from court to jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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