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WASHINGTON (AP) - Opening statements are expected in the trial of a German man charged with murdering his 91-year-old wife, a journalist and socialite.

Albrecht Muth is charged with first-degree murder in the August 2011 beating and strangulation death of Viola Drath. Police say the killing took place inside the couple's home in Washington's posh Georgetown neighborhood.

Jury selection began Monday in D.C. Superior Court, and opening statements are expected Tuesday morning.

Muth is not expected to attend his trial. His self-imposed bouts of starvation have left him frail and weak, but a judge has ruled that Muth's absences are willful and voluntary and that the trial can proceed without him. He'll be able to observe through videoconferencing.