“Kill all Americans.”
“Hack into government computers and files.”
Those are things Albrecht Muth allegedly threatened to do, according to testimony heard Friday.
In a bizarre preliminary hearing Friday, MPD Detective James Wilson presented these statements that witnesses in the investigation attributed to the 47-year-old man accused of killing Viola Drath on Aug. 12 in the Georgetown home they shared.
But before Wilson could testify about that evidence, Muth himself made a request: that he be allowed to read a short document to the court.
With permission from Judge Gerald Fisher, Muth listed the grievances he had with his trial, starting with a claim that the trial against him was in contempt of the Geneva Convention. Muth also opposed his treatment at D.C. Jail, saying his treatment there went against his constitutional rights.
Fisher asked the government to respond in writing to Muth’s claims of his constitutional rights being withheld, promising to do what he could about the matter.
Muth is suspected of killing Drath sometime late at night on Aug. 11 or early in the morning of Aug 12. Drath’s body was found on the bathroom floor of the Georgetown townhouse she and Muth shared in a “marriage of convinence,” as Muth told investigators. An autopsy on Drath determined that she died of strangulation and blunt force injuries, charging documents in the case state.
Muth has denied killing his wife, but in testimony Friday witnesses said that Muth had spoken previously of his wife’s death and of a desire to kill her. Witnesses also described threats Muth made to others, MPD Detective James Wilson said.
In one instance, Wilson said, a State Department investigator reported having gone to Drath’s and Muth’s home after receiving a fax from their residence. Upon arriving, he heard a commotion inside the residence, the witness reported.
The same witness, along with his supervisor, later met with Drath at a location away from her house where she asked for their help in having Muth deported, mentioning his anti-American sentiment in saying things such as “kill all Americans,” and later, a threat to “bomb Georgetown.”
In another incident, Wilson said, Drath summoned an MPD officer to the couple’s Georgetown home. The officer reported that upon arriving he found Muth dressed in “full military uniform” with his hands hidden from view. The officer noted that the defendant was intoxicated. After convincing Muth to show his hands the officer reported being told Muth said, “I’ll kill you all.”
In another incident, Wilson said, a lawyer and U.S. Army captain said they met with Drath in November of 2010. During this meeting Drath showed them a piece of paper that she said Muth wanted put in her will. he said that she didn’t want it put in; in fact she wanted to remove her husband from her will. Drath had a second meeting with the Army captain a week later during which time she executed her will and disinherited Muth.
Another witness, Wilson said, described an incident that occurred during a visit to the Georgetown home in early 2011. Wilson said the witness described Muth gesturing “dismissively” at Drath, ordering her from a room obscenely in German, then pushing her backwards into a doorframe. Muth then allegedly asked the witness if he could “hack into government computers and files.”
Hours before Drath was killed, Wilson said, Muth is believed to have spent roughly four hours with a friend he had met on Craigslist. The man described going to three different locations with Muth and told police that in the second location Muth began to drink and by the time they left the third location he was “intoxicated, insistent and obnoxious.” The witness explained that the next day, August 12th, he emailed Muth and told him he no longer intended to meet with him if Muth continued to get intoxicated in that manner. The witness then told police Muth had replied saying he did not remember what had happened the previous night.
Another witness, who claimed to have sold narcotics to Muth for about a decade, told police that Muth had asked him if he could rob “the bitch” while she walked in Georgetown and “be done with her.”
And another told detectives that during a conversation with Muth about a trip Muth and Drath had taken to the Middle East, Muth told him that he should have pushed Drath down and killed her there, but there were too many people around.
After hearing the evidence, Fisher ruled that there was probable cause to believe that Muth committed the crime of second-degree murder. Fisher ordered Muth held in the case at least until a status hearing set for Nov. 18.