Glenn I. Wright, the alleged ringleader in the July 19 abduction of Edith Rosenkranz from a Washington hotel, may rely on insanity as a defense to charges growing out of the incident, Wright's lawyer said yesterday in U.S. District Court.

District Judge Oliver Gasch granted a request by Wright's court-appointed attorney, William J. Garber, that Wright, 42, of Houston, be admitted to St. Elizabeths mental hospital here for psychiatric testing over the next 60 days.

Rosenkranz, wife of multimillionaire Mexico City businessman George Rosenkranz, was abducted at gunpoint from the Sheraton Washington Hotel parking garage. She was freed unharmed two days later after her husband had paid a $1 million ransom. They were in Washington at the time to attend a bridge tournament.

Law enforcement officials arrested Wright and two other men the same night the victim was released and charged them with the kidnaping. The ransom money was recovered.

Garber said in court papers filed yesterday that Wright had received psychological treatment in the past. He said later in court that Wright had never been hospitalized for a mental disorder.

Garber said in the papers that Wright's emotional state appears to have deteriorated since his arrest July 21 and subsequent incarceration at D.C. Jail.

"He shows signs of extreme agitation, instability, lack of attention span, detachment from reality and in some respects an irrational understanding of his present situation."

Wright appeared in court for yesterday's 20-minute hearing wearing orange, jail-issue coveralls and slippers with several days' growth of beard. He slouched in a chair during the proceedings and did not speak.

Also appearing yesterday was one of Wright's codefendants, Dennis Moss, 26, of Cocoa, Fla., who is charged with forcing Edith Rosenkranz into a waiting van at the hotel while wielding a .38-caliber handgun.

Moss' lawyer, Thomas Abbenante, asked yesterday in court papers that Gasch declare inadmissible as evidence a police lineup at which Moss was identified by a witness as a suspect in the case. Abbenante also asked that statements made by Moss to authorities after his arrest, acknowledging involvement in the kidnaping, be kept from a jury.

Abbenante said in court that he planned to investigate a comment, which he said was made by Edith Rosenkranz to law enforcement officers, that Moss appeared to be acting "under duress" during the kidnaping. He did not elaborate.

The third defendant in the case, Orland D. Tolden, 25, described by Houston police as Wright's roommate and lover, is scheduled to appear in District Court Tuesday.

All three men could be given life sentences if they are convicted.

Wright is described by Houston acquaintances as an accomplished classical pianist, tournament bridge player, former stockbroker, law student and condominium developer who allegedly needed money to recover from a failed business venture.