Wife Killer Albrecht Muth Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison
Albrecht Gero Muth, convicted Jan. 16 of killing his 91-year-old wife Viola Herms Drath in August 2011 in their Q Street home in Georgetown, was given a 50-year prison sentence by Judge Russell F. Canan of D.C. Superior Court April 30. The prosecutors were seeking a life sentence.
Canan said he found the evidence against Muth “overwhelming” and scoffed at his hunger strikes in the hospital, where Muth remained during the trial and the sentencing and participated via videoconference.
Muth's lawyer Dana Page spoke on his behalf, reading a statement that claimed Muth was innocent and that his wife was killed by Iranian agents.
“For the rest of his life, Muth won’t be able to masquerade as a military officer or member of a royal family while subjecting his wife to intolerable abuse,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, Jr. said. “He will be a federal inmate paying the price for his brutal crime.”
Drath was found dead in the third-floor bathroom of her home on Q Street on Aug. 12, 2011, after being strangled and beaten.
Medical examiners determined Drath’s death to be a homicide – and not a result of falling, as Muth first contended. There had been not forced entry into the house. He was arrested a few days later on P Street, after being locked out of the house and wandering around the neighborhood and sleeping in nearby Montrose Park.
A veteran journalist and married previously to an Army colonel, Drath married Muth in 1990. The couple was known around town for their dinner parties with a mix of political, diplomatic, military and media VIPs. Drath was 44 years older than Muth.
Prosecutors argued that Muth showed a pattern of abuse against his wife and was motivated by money, saying he had no steady job and was not included in Drath’s will. “He was a good little con man," prosecutor Glenn Kirschner told the jury.
During trial testimony, Drath’s daughters, Connie and Francesca (from her first marriage), talked about Muth’s money arrangements with his wife and of his emails to them about items he wanted upon her death.
Seen around Georgetown in faux military garb, the cigar-smoking Muth was perceived by neighbors and shopkeepers as an oddball. He said that he was a member of the Iraqi Army -- which the Iraqi government denied. Muth went so far as to have arranged a 2010 ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery for Iraqi Liberation Day. He was also known around government and foundation lobbying circles as Count Albi of the EPG (Eminent Persons Group).