Muth Guilty of Murdering His Wife, Viola Drath


Albrecht Gero Muth, accused of killing his
91-year-old wife Viola Herms Drath in August
2011 in their Georgetown home, was found
guilty of first-degree murder Jan. 16 in D.C.
Superior Court.

The jury deliberated less than one full day
before reaching its verdict. Muth will be sentenced
in March and could receive life in prison.
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 and Muth were married
in 1990 and 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.

Delays to the trial start date were due in part
to Muth’s failing heath because of his decision
to restrict his eating. He participated from his
hospital bed via video conferencing and was notat the courthouse. The jury did not see Muth in
his deteriorated condition nor did he testify.

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