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Crime Scene
Posted at 08:15 AM ET, 09/09/2011

Hearing for Albrecht Muth in D.C. socialite Viola Drath’s death

Viola Drath, the 91-year-old Georgetown socialite found dead in her house in August, told several people she was afraid of her husband, worried about anti-American sentiments he expressed and sought to have him deported, authorities said Friday.

D.C. homicide detective James Wilson related information provided by several unnamed individuals during a hearing in D.C. Superior Court. Prosecutors have charged Drath’s husband, Albrecht Gero Muth, 47, with her Aug. 12 murder.

Prosecutors say Muth beat and strangled Drath, who was found dead on the floor of her second-story bathroom Aug.12.

In one instance in April, according to Wilson, Drath told someone she wanted their help getting Muth deported because he planned to “bomb Georgetown.”

In another case, according to Wilson, someone came to their house after Muth allegedly sent a fax containing classified information to the State Department and an investigator who called the house overheard a ”commotion.”

The investgator went to the house, then agreed to meet Drath at a restaurant, according to Wilson. During their meeting, Wilson said, she told the investigator she was “afraid” and wanted him deported, citing his “anti-American sentiment.”

Muth smiled and shook his head at times during the hearing, for which he wore an orange prison jumpsuit, his legs and wrists shackled. Before the hearing, he read from a prepared statement in which he claimed his rights were being violated and complained of his treatment in jail.

Muth and Drath had been married 22 years. During their marriage, Drath had sought several court protective orders against Muth. Muth told authorities Draft gave him a monthly allowance of $2,000, although she had recently cut it to $1,800 a month.

When Muth called police to report his wife was dead, he told authorities she had fallen. But a medical examiner discovered bruising and abrasions to her neck, according to court documents, as well as bruising to her scalp, fractured neck cartilage and ribs and a torn right thumbnail.

The cause of death was determined to be strangulation and blunt force injuries. He was arrested days later.

Muth, who often told his Georgetown neighbors he was a general in the Iraqi army, was originally charged with second-degree murder in Drath’s slaying. But it is likely those charges could be enhanced based on the victim’s age and whether prosecutors can prove Muth planned to kill his wife.

At Muth’s a Aug. 17 hearing, Muth’s attorney — Dana Page, of the District’s Public Defender Service — argued there was no evidence, DNA or eyewitnesses linking Muth to Drath’s murder.

The hearing is scheduled before D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher.

By  |  08:15 AM ET, 09/09/2011

Categories:  The District, Keith L. Alexander, Homicide

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