Prosecutors Seek to Include Muth's Past Crimes in Murder Trial
Prosecutors ask to include Muth's history of domestic violence against his wife as evidence in March 25 murder trial.
Prosecutors have asked the court to allow them to present evidence of Albrecht Muth's previous charges as evidence in his March 25 trial for first degree murder.
Muth is accused of killing his wife Viola Drath, who was beaten to death in her Georgetown home in August 2011.
Muth had a history of domestic violence complaints filed against him by his late wife, as Patch previously reported. The prosecution's latest submission to the court details those incidents and how they might be used in the upcoming trial.
Prosecutors write that Muth's violent behavior toward his wife should be admissible to show his "motive, intent, identity, absence of mistake or accident, and consciousness of guilt," according to court documents.
The prosecution sets out eight different "incidents of threats and domestic violence."
In one 2006 instance, Drath told police that Muth had assaulted her with a chair, repeatedly banged her head against the floor and then sat on her, preventing her from leaving to get help. When a warrant for his arrest was issued, Muth fled DC. Drath dropped the charges in 2008.
Of note and previously reported on Patch, one witness, who reportedly would sell Muth illegal drugs from time to time, recounted an interaction in which Muth asked the witness to "do away with her," referring to Drath. The witness said Muth even suggested a motive, that the witness make it look like a robbery gone wrong when Drath was out for a walk.
The prosecution argues that though past crimes are often deemed "inadmissable" to show a predisposition to a current charge, they can be used to show the aforementioned motive, intent, identity, absence of mistake or accident, common scheme or plan and consciousness of guilt.
"In this case there is a direct correlation between the defendant's prior bad acts and the elements of the crime charged," the prosecution wrote in its most recent letter to the court.
There is a trial readiness hearing scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.