It took a D.C. jury just three hours to decide today that 49 year-old Albrecht Gero Muth was guilty of first degree murder in the killing of his 91-year-old wife Viola Herms Drath, a Georgetown socialite and journalist, according to the Washington Post.
Muth was charged in August 2011.
Muth was not present for the six-day trial in D.C. Superior Court, but participated via video conference from his hospital bed. Muth has fasted on and off since his arrest and now weighs just 92 pounds.
The couple was married for 20 years and prosecutors say he acted more as a companion than husband. Muth denies murdering his wife, at first claiming she died after falling and hitting her head, and then later saying her death was the result of an Iranian hit job.
He will be sentenced in March and faces up to life in prison, according to NBC.
Update, 7:06 p.m. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen released this statement upon Muth’s conviction: “Albrecht Muth has pretended to be an Iraqi general, a Count, and an East German spy, but in truth he is a cold-blooded killer who strangled his elderly wife to death,” Machen wrote. “Even as this trial approached, he tried to manipulate the system through on-and-off fasts designed to avoid facing justice for this terrible crime. The jury saw right through Albrecht Muth’s elaborate web of lies and held him accountable for his brutality.”
Photo courtesy of the family of Viola Drath