wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Local

Crime Scene
Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 06/20/2012

Despite progress, Albrecht Muth remains incompetent, doctors say

Despite detecting progress in the mental state of Albrecht Gero Muth, doctors at St. Elizabeths Hospital believe the District man charged with beating his wife to death remains incompetent to proceed with his case.

Muth, 47, was charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 12, 2011, fatal beating of Viola Drath, 91, in their Georgetown home. D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan ordered Muth committed to St. Elizabeths for mental evaluation after Muth began a hunger strike.

In a letter to the judge, doctors said the German-born Muth continued to tell hospital personnel that he was a general in the Iraqi army and that his wife’s death was a result of an Iranian hit.

Prosecutors, police and Drath family members have said there was no evidence Muth was ever in an Iraqi army; at the time of his wife’s death, Muth told officials Drath died as a result of a fall.

“Mr. Muth has vehemently discounted that he could be mentally ill, ” Patrick J. Canavan, chief executive of the hospital, wrote.

Muth is scheduled to appear before Canan on Thursday. His trial had been scheduled for October.

Canavan said Muth rejects the idea that he could be delusional about his military background, arguing that “If you take away my memories, you take away my life.”

The physicians said Muth suffered from delusional and schizotypal personality disorders and has been prescribed various medications. It was “likely” Muth would attain competency “with an additional period of time” in the District’s mental hospital, they wrote.

This week’s letter from hospital officials was similar to the letter they wrote in April, in which the hospital requested another 60 days of evaluation and treatment.

Read more: The Post’s crime coverage

By  |  12:07 PM ET, 06/20/2012

Next:

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company