Court Suspends Muth's Right to Represent Himself, Reinstitutes Attorneys
The court ruled on Albrecht Muth's ability to represent himself because his most recent hunger strike resulted in ongoing hospitalization.
At a status hearing Wednesday, DC Superior Court Judge Russell F. Canan suspended Georgetown murder defendant Albrecht Muth's right to represent himself and reinstituted his public defenders attorneys, Dana Page and Craig Hickein.
Muth, 48, is scheduled to stand trial March 25 for the August 2011 strangling and beating death of his 91-year-old wife, Viola Drath, in their Georgetown home.
Muth did not appear in court, but was present via speakerphone from his hospital room at the United Medical Center, according to court records. He was hospitalized last month as a result of his ongoing fast.
The court suspended Muth's right to self-representation temporarily because of his "severe health issues," according to court records.
However, Canan ruled that the previously set trial date of March 25 should remain in place.
"The defendant's capacity to proceed to trial will continue to be monitored. The Court will continue to keep open the defendant's right to represent himself, depending on his future condition," the court records explained.
Canan found Muth competent to stand trial in December and accepted Muth's request at the time to be allowed to represent himself. Muth fired his attorneys, Page and Hickein after his competency hearing.
A trial readiness hearing date is still in effect for Feb. 21 at 9:30 a.m.