Muth returns to jail after ending hunger strike; teenager sentenced for attack

May 7, 2013
THE DISTRICT
Muth ends his fast, returns to D.C. jail

Albrecht G. Muth, charged in the beating and strangulation of his wife at their Georgetown home, has resumed eating and has been discharged from a hospital, D.C. jail officials said in an
e-mail to prosecutors.

In a May 1 e-mail filed with D.C. Superior Court, D.C. jail attorney Maria Amato told prosecutors that Muth was discharged from United Medical Center and returned to the jail.

Muth, 48, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Viola Herms Drath, his socialite wife, who was 91.

Muth stopped eating late last year and was eventually hospitalized. Because of his fast and hospitalization, Judge Russell F. Canan delayed Muth’s trial from March until Dec. 2.

In the e-mail to prosecutors, Amato said Muth told jail officials that he planned to resume his fast once he was back in jail.

At a hearing last month, Canan ruled that Muth’s trial will not be delayed a third time as a result of the fast and that the proceedings will commence, with or without Muth in the courtroom. On Thursday, Canan also set a “backup” trial date of Jan. 6.

— Keith L. Alexander

Man, 18, is sentenced in attack on woman

A District man was sentenced to seven years in prison for the November burglary and attack on an elderly woman in the Chevy Chase neighborhood

In February, Tyran Mcelrath, 18, pleaded guilty to the Nov. 7 break-in at the home of an 81-year-old woman in the 3500 block of McKinley Street NW.

Prosecutors said Mcelrath entered through a basement window while the victim was on the second floor listening to music. Mcelrath stole the woman’s computer and some loose change from her purse, police said. When the victim confronted Mcelrath, police said, he punched her repeatedly in the face until she lost consciousness.

Prosecutors said the victim recently died after a rapid decline in her health following the attack.

Police were able to identify Mcelrath quickly as a suspect because he was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. Mcelrath had been charged as a juvenile for similar crimes in the past.

Mcelrath was arrested two days after the attack and, according to court records, admitted to the attack and robbery and said he felt “sorry for the lady.”

In addition to a prison sentence, D.C. Superior Court Judge Patricia A. Broderick sentenced Mcelrath to five years of supervised probation after his incarceration.

— Keith L. Alexander

VIRGINIA
Man shot by police
charged with assault

An Alexandria man has been charged with assaulting a police officer after an April incident in which officers shot him when he brandished a replica gun, Fairfax County police said.

Maxwell Scott Eisenman, 37, remains in stable condition following the April 9 shooting, police said. Officers were called to a home in the 6600 block of Thurlton Drive in the Alexandria section of Fairfax for a report of a suicidal subject.

After officers arrived, they encountered the man and opened fire. Police did not release additional details about how the shooting occurred, but said one or more officers performed CPR on the man until paramedics arrived.

The man was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. No officers were injured.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh informed police that there was no basis for charges against officers involved in the case. The officers who discharged their weapons were Pfc. Shannon Sams, Pfc. Robert Marshall and Pfc. Eric Runkles. All will return to full patrol duties and responsibilities at the Franconia District Police Station.

— Justin Jouvenal

Maryland
Anne Arundel
police chief retiring

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Larry Tolliver is resigning after complaints that he retaliated against officers who testified against the previous county executive.

In an e-mail Tuesday announcing his decision to retire May 21, Tolliver denied that it was related to the investigation into alleged retaliation against officers in the case against former county executive John R. Leopold. Leopold, who was convicted in January of misconduct, appointed Tolliver chief in July.

County Executive Laura Neuman announced last week that a probe into the allegations against Tolliver concerning Leopold’s trial determined that they were unfounded. However, the investigation found that Tolliver used an anti-gay slur at work. Tolliver apologized for that remark.

Tolliver, 66, was also county police chief from 1997 to 1998. He served as superintendent of state police in 1992-95.

— Associated Press

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