Grand jury indicts Muth in killing of socialite wife

A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Albrecht G. Muth, the man accused in the fatal beating and strangulation of his Georgetown socialite wife, on first-degree murder charges.

At the time of his arrest following the August death of Viola Drath, 91, prosecutors charged Muth with second-degree murder. The charge was elevated to first-degree murder based on evidence presented to a D.C. Superior Court grand jury.

Muth, 47, could face life in prison without parole if convicted.

Muth is currently undergoing psychological evaluation at St. Elizabeths Hospital. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 14 for a competency hearing.

At a February hearing, D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan ruled Muth temporarily mentally incompetent for trial after Muth went on a two-month fast that resulted in his hospitalization. anan then ordered Muth to the District-run psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

Muth has pleaded not guilty. In previous court hearings, Muth has said his wife’s death was a “hit” ordered by Iranian agents.

Read more: The Post’s crime coverage

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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