A German-born man has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his 91-year-old socialite wife in Washington.

Forty-seven-year-old Albrecht Muth was indicted Tuesday in the death of Viola Drath, a German journalist and socialite. Authorities say she was found beaten and strangled at her home last August.

A conviction on the charge carries a possible sentence of life without parole.

Police had initially charged Muth with second-degree murder, but that charge was upgraded in a grand jury indictment accusing him of acting with premeditation and malice.

Muth was transferred to a psychiatric hospital, and a judge will have to decide whether he is competent to stand trial. He awaits a scheduled appearance next week in D.C. Superior Court.

Muth has said he is innocent.

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