WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) — The husband of a 91-year-old Washington socialite — first believed to have died of natural causes — has been charged in her killing, officials said.
Albrecht Gero Muth, 47, was arrested Tuesday night and charged in the death of his wife, Viola Drath, The Washington Post reported.
Medical examiners determined Saturday that the death of Drath, who was found unresponsive in a bathroom of the couple’s Georgetown home, was a homicide, the Post said.
Police sources told the newspaper she had died of strangulation and blunt-force injuries.
Muth, a native of Germany, had described the couple’s marriage of more than 20 years as a “marriage of convenience” that gave him access to Drath’s connections in Washington, and they had hosted U.S. government officials, generals, foreign diplomats and members of the media at their home.
Drath, a former journalist who had filed protective orders against Muth, told police in 2006 he hit her over the head with a chair, banged her head into the floor and restrained her so she couldn’t report the incident. Assault charges against Muth were dropped after she decided against pursuing the case, the Post said.
A law enforcement source told the newspaper Muth had apparently told one of Drath’s relatives on the day of her death that she had agreed he would receive tens of thousands of dollars when she died.
Muth had told visitors to the couple’s home he was a general in the Iraqi army, which the Iraqi government said is untrue, and would sometimes wear a military uniform in his neighborhood, the Post said.