Government Doctors Find Albrecht Muth Fit for Trial
Doctor: Muth is feigning incompetence, has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Two medical experts hired by the government have found Georgetown murder suspect Albrecht Muth competent to stand trial, alleging he has been feigning mental illness to avoid it.
Muth is indicted on the charge of first degree murder with aggravating circumstances in the death of his wife Viola Drath in her Georgetown home last August.
Muth has been undergoing psychiatric evaluation at St. Elizabeths and recently re-initiated a hunger strike. When doctors first began evaluating Muth, they told the court they were uncertain whether he presented a "genuine psychosis" or "feigned psychological processes in order to avoid prosecution."
They later determined he was delusional, but might make sufficient process to become competent for trial.
Since then, Dr. Mitchell Hugonnet, a licensed psychologist and expert in clinical, forensic and neuropsychology chosen by the prosecution, determined Muth was competent to stand trial, he reported to Assistant U.S. Attorney Glen Kirschner in a letter dated Aug. 23.
To make his report, Hugonnet spent more than 15 hours in interviews with Muth and several hours more with his doctors, other support staff at St. Elizabeths and Drath's family, reviewing interviews with police and Muth's own 250-page manuscript written in the D.C. Jail titled "Triumph of Illusion."
"Mr. Muth is an intelligent, psychopathic con artist with a severe and chronic Narcissistic Personality Disorder ... It is my opinion that Albrecht Gero Muth is presently competent to stand trial," he concluded.
Hugonnet believes Muth deliberately attempted to minimize his capabilities in intelligence tests the doctors administered and feigned being delusional.
He calls Muth's commitment to St. Elizabeths and subsequent evaluations of incompetency "the con of his life."
"Mr. Muth's cons have been multifaceted and multidimensional. Mr. Muth built his entire life by constructing multiple and often simultaneous false narratives, tales within tales, Russian nesting dolls, in order to advance his strategic objectives," wrote Hugonnet.
By Hugonnet's reasoning, Muth's unflagging insistence upon his military credentials and his line of defense (namely that his wife's death was a "hit" by Iranian agents) are all part of his con to convince doctors and the court that he is delusional. It was a useful tool when he was outside of the justice system because it allowed him to manipulate social circles, and now, the powerful, faux military persona is helping him avoid trial, Hugonnet said.
Dr. Robert Phillips, a forensic psychiatrist secured by the prosecution, came to similar conclusions. He noted Muth's personality is marked by self-absorption, immaturity, impulsiveness and instant gratification.
When Phillips showed Muth the recent New York Times Magazine article that delved into Muth and Drath's relationship, Muth said it would make a good movie and that Leonardo DiCaprio should play him.
"Mr. Muth has mastered the art of lying. His lies are so well formulated, and his belief in and execution of his lies are so good, that to others his beliefs may appear to be delusional. To the contrary, in my clinical opinion, there is no evidence to support a diagnosis that he is delusional," Phillips said.
Both doctors determined Muth did not meet the standards that would render him incompetent. One report suggested St. Elizabeths might also be reconsidering its determination of competence.
Muth is scheduled for his next competency hearing Sept. 6.
Muth's attorneys filed a motion in court Aug. 29 that would compel St. Elizabeths to halt its competency evaluations and would also force the government to provide additional information including unredacted emails that the defense state are pertinent to determining competency.