Government's Experts to Evaluate Muth's Mental Condition
Judge Russell F. Canan agrees to prosecution's request to have its own experts evaluate Georgetown murder suspect Albrecht Muth.
Judge Russell F. Canan reviewed the findings of a medical team at St. Elizabeths mental hospital and granted the government's request to have its own experts evaluate Albrecht Muth before his trial, scheduled for October.
Muth, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife Viola Drath, was found to be not competent to stand trial in the most recent St. Elizabeths medical report. Though the report did indicate he could attain competency in time for trial.
Drath, 91, was found dead in her home in August 2011; a medical examiner determined the cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma. A grand jury indicted Muth on the charge of first-degree murder in her death.
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Canan told Muth he was "pleased to see" he was "cooperating" with the team at St. Elizabeths and he was proceeding with treatment that would get him "on track" for trial in October.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenn Kirschner requested the government's own experts have access to Muth at St. Elizabeths for competency evaluations. Defense Attorney Dana Page initially objected the evaluations were not timely, but Canan said both the defense and the prosecution had rights to have their own experts make evaluations at any time.
"Given the complexity of this case," said Canan, "it seems reasonable to have either side have additional testing done."
Barring a filing from Page, Canan approved Kirschner's request. The next status conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 21.