Doctor: D.C. man accused of murdering 91-year-old wife is a liar, con man
Expert witnesses offered contrary testimony earlier this week in a competency hearing for accused murderer Albrecht Muth, 48. Both the defense and prosecution called psychiatrists to the stand in front of Judge Russell F. Canan who will determine whether Muth, who is currently held at St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital, is competent to stand trial in March.
Throughout the investigation Muth has maintained that he is an Iraqi Brigadier General, Count Albi, an ambassador to Paraguay, and has requested that he be allowed to wear a German military uniform in court.
Clinical Psychiatrist Robert Phillips, a doctor for the prosecution that has argued for months that Muth is competent to stand trial, testified that “Mr. Muth’s fabrications are all in service of a very goal-oriented circumstance. I don’t think there is any question that he has a rational understanding of the evidence in this case,” Phillips said in court Monday.
Lead prosecutor Glenn Kirschner offered a short audio clip of a conversation between Muth and Dr. Phillips, during which Muth said that maintaining his claim that he is an Iraqi Brigadier General is “the singularly biggest objective that [he has] in these proceedings.”
Dr. Shawn Agharkar, an expert brought in by Muth’s defense team, testified that Muth’s military delusions render him incapable of assisting in his own defense. “He can be delusional and a liar and I think he is both,” Aghakar said. Specifically, Aghakar testified that Muth’s delusions render him incapable of considering any alternate defenses.
Muth’s attorneys, Dana Page and Craig Hickein of the District’s Public Defender Service, maintain that their client has a long standing mental illness and is not competent to stand trial. Phillips, the prosecution’s expert witness, says that Muth’s assertions are all part of an elaborate “con” for his own “emotional benefit.” “Mr. Muth has mastered the art of lying,” Phillips said.
On Tuesday, lead prosecutor Glenn Kirschner called several more witnesses to discuss Muth’s manipulative nature and attempts to infiltrate Washington’s elite society.
Viola Drath, 91, a Washington D.C. socialite and political advisor, was found dead in the second-floor bathroom of her home on the 3200 block of Q Street NW. Her husband, 48-year-old Albrecht Muth, initially told police that his wife died from a fall, but a medical examiner later ruled that she had been beaten and strangled. In a wild twist, Muth changed his story and told authorities that Drath’s death was part of a “botched” hit aimed at him by Iranian agents.
Doctors at St. Elizabeth’s initially determined that Muth was not competent to stand trial; however, they changed their evaluation in September, and a judge must now determine whether Muth is competent for trial scheduled in March.
The competency hearing will likely continue for several more days.
Ryan Kerns, Esq. Wild About Trial
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