D.C. Man Charged with elderly wife’s murder tells Judge that St. Gabriel will not let him end his fast
At a hearing on Wednesday a D.C. Judge asked a Georgetown man charged with the murder of his elderly wife to end his prolonged fast so that he will be able to attend his own murder trial. Albrecht Muth, however, replied that he would not.
Muth told Judge Russell Canan that he was fasting on “the authority of St. Gabriel” and that he “[does] not have the authority to break the fast,” according to a report from Homicide Watch D.C.
Muth has been fasting for the better part of a year and has not been able to attend court hearings for the past 11 months as a result of his weakened state. Defense attorneys have argued that Muth is so weak that he can barely move or sit up and is incapable of attending trial. Judge Canan has ruled that Muth’s trial will continue despite the health issues.
In a unique court setup, Judge Canan will allow Muth to have video and audio access to his trial from his hospital bed, although Judge Canan noted “it is not my intent that the jury can see him.”
Muth, 49, is charged with first degree murder in the death of his 91-year-old wife, D.C. socialite Viola Drath. Trial has been delayed several times for mental health evaluations, attorney replacements, and several hunger strikes by Muth.
Trial is scheduled to begin January 6, and a hearing is scheduled for January 2 to ensure that all technical elements of Muth’s audio and video setup are functional.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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