Jury selection starts in case of slain DC writer

  • Associated Press
  • January 6, 2014 - 11:50 AM

WASHINGTON — Jury selection is underway in the case of a German man charged with killing his 91-year-old journalist wife inside their District of Columbia home nearly three years ago.

Albrecht Muth faces a life sentence if convicted of the August 2011 beating and strangulation death of Viola Drath, a fellow German expatriate and socialite.

Prosecutors say the 49-year-old Muth was motivated by money in killing his wife, but he has denied guilt and has blamed her death on an Iranian hit job.

Muth is not expected to attend his trial in D.C. Superior Court but will instead participate through videoconferencing. Doctors say Muth's self-imposed bouts of starvation have made him too frail for court, but a judge concluded that Muth had knowingly waived his right to be present for the trial.

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