The DC government said on Thursday evening that it will “take steps to seek a court order” to prevent Albrecht Muth—who was arrested last summer and charged with the Georgetown murder of his wife, Viola Drath—from starving himself to death.
A statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General said: “While Albrecht Muth’s condition is being constantly monitored by medical staff, the District of Columbia’s agencies are working closely with doctors, hospitals, and the court to determine the proper course of action. The District is going to take steps to seek a court order authorizing any needed provision of nutrients and healthcare to avoid harm or death to Mr. Muth.”
Muth, 47, has been in and out of the hospital after refusing to eat. He was returned to the hospital last night. He is being represented by the DC Public Defender Service, though he has said he prefers to represent himself. Thursday morning Superior Court judge Russell Canan held a hearing in which he said that Muth was “incapable of representing himself” and suspended his right to self-representation. Canan said that Muth’s health situation would become “grave” if something wasn’t done. He scheduled another hearing for next Tuesday.
Muth was sent to the DC jail after being charged with the fatal beating of Drath, his 91-year-old wife, at their Georgetown home. Her body was found in an upstairs bathroom.
The attorney general's office would not say precisely when it will seek the court order.