Albrecht Muth requests to represent himself in trial for murder of Viola Drath
Albrecht Muth, man charged with killing his elderly wife at their Georgetown home in August, will represent himself in his trial, to which he plans to wear his military uniform.
Standing with two court-appointed public defenders, Muth told the judge he was dissatisfied with those attorneys because they wouldn't follow his instructions to write letters on his behalf to the White House and the Department of Defense.
Muth asked the judge to instruct the lawyers to send the letters, which the judge refused.
The two lawyers will serve as his attorney advisors during the trial, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, 2012.
When the judge asked him if he was employed, Muth responded, "I'm a Staff General in the Army of Iraq.” The 47-year-old told the judge he wants to plans his military uniform in court.
The Iraqi embassy had previously denied that Muth was ever a member of the Iraqi army or government, according to the Washington Post.
He claims the murder of his 91-year-old wife, Viola Drath, was planned by Iranian agents who targeted Muth because of his military affiliation. Muth asked to keep the hearings closed so that information about Iran and the U.S. could be kept secret.
Prosecutors say Drath, a German-born journalist and socialite, was killed by blunt force trauma and strangulation. Charging documents say that Muth had scratches on his face that detectives believe are evidence of a struggle.
Muth told the judge he needed two a U.S. Army Major and an Iraqi Army Captain on his legal team to do research because his court-appointed attorneys "do not have the time."
Viola Drath's family issued a statement saying, “We learned in court today that Albrecht Gero Muth will be representing himself, which he has every right to do. We are grateful for the continued hard work of the Metropolitan Police Department. We hope that justice is served.”
A prosecutor told the judge that a grand jury has been seated to indict Muth on first-degree murder charges. He is currently charged with second-degree murder.
The body of Drath showed bruising and abrasions on her neck, bruises on her scalp, as well as fractured neck cartilage and fractured ribs, according to police.
A police affidavit says Muth's DNA was found at the scene. It says Drath's signature was forged on a letter that Muth presented to Drath's relatives stating that Muth was entitled to a $150,000 inheritance if Drath were to die.
Detectives allege the German-born Muth was unemployed and received a $2000-a-month allowance from his wife. The document claims that allowance had recently been reduced.