Albrecht Muth cannot represent himself due to failing health, judge rules

A D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled that the man accused of killing an elderly D.C. socialite cannot represent himself because he is in such poor health.

Albrecht Muth,48, is charged with first degree murder in the beating death of his 91-year-old wife Viola Darth in their Georgetown row house.

In court, Dr Russom Ghebrai, who works at United Medical Center where Muth is hospitalized, testified that Muth "is at imminent risk of sudden death" because of a fast he has maintained since Dec. 20. Ghebrai said Muth broke the fast briefly Wednesday, drinking juice and eating ice cream. But the doctor testified that Muth "has no muscle mass. He is just skin and bones."

Judge Richard Canan of DC Superior Court had ruled that Myth could represent himself, but heard Dr. Ghebrai testify that Muth can neither stand nor sit and would have to be delivered to court in a hospital bed. The judge also seemed concerned that Muth might die in the courtroom while trying to conduct his defense.

The doctor said if Muth resumed eating, he would fully recover. Judge Canan said he believes Muth is intentionally disrupting the court proceedings.

Meanwhile, Muth claims the Archangel Gabriel has told him not to eat. Muth currently has a “do not resuscitate” order.

Another hearing in this case has been scheduled for March 7.