WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) - A District of Columbia judge has set a December trial date for a German man charged with the Georgetown killing of his wife, who was 44 years his senior.
Albrecht Muth was to have stood trial on Monday, but a judge postponed the date because Muth has grown increasingly weak from months of starvation. He remains hospitalized.
Superior Court Judge Russell Canan didn't set a new trial date at a hearing last week. Online court records show he later scheduled the trial for December 2.
It's not clear whether the 48-year-old Muth will be deemed well enough to attend the trial by that point. He is charged in the August 2011 killing of 91-year-old Viola Drath, a German journalist and socialite. He has denied any role in her death.
Refusing to eat, weighing only about 100 pounds, Muth did a television interview last week with ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz.
Muth tells Raddatz that he didn’t kill his wife, he was simply the “convenient suspect” for the police to zero in on.
When Raddatz suggested that he is basically killing himself by not eating, Muth said, "No, I'm not killing myself. I'm opposed to killing myself. I'm Roman Catholic"
“Who do you think murdered her?” Raddatz asked Muth.
“Iranians,” Muth answered.
“And why do you think the Iranians would have murdered your wife? There was no forced entry.”
“They had a key,“ Muth said.
Muth claims Iranians hated him and he wasn’t there when she was killed.
“I was out,” he says. “I didn't return to the house until approximately 10 o'clock."
Raddatz noted how before the murder, Muth had convinced her to come to the Georgetown house for a dinner with an Iraqi diplomat who never showed and how he'd convinced Justice Atonin Scalia to come to talk about Catholicism.
Pointing out that his wife was 44 years older than him, Raddatz asks why he married her.
Muth says, it was “a marriage of convenience for both of us. She provided the stage, I provided the play.”
Muth says he gave his wife an interesting life and access to important people, while claiming the money the wealthy socialite provided him was miniscule.
Muth’s doctor testified he occasionally eats something, but is so weak from lack of nourishment, he remains in imminent risk of sudden death.
Muth had received permission to represent himself in court before he stopped eating.
“I'll start eating, if so commanded," Muth tells Raddatz.