Authorities have announced that a Maryland woman has been handed a 23-year prison sentence for her involvement in the murder of her 92-year-old roommate and family friend.
The incident took place on July 28, 2021, when emergency responders were summoned to a residence in Kensington for a death investigation, as previously reported by Front Page Detectives.
At the scene, Julia Birch, 28 years old, confessed to the police that she had suffocated and killed Nancy Ann Frankel, who was discovered lifeless in her bedroom, according to officials. Despite Birch’s unsuccessful attempt to return Frankel’s body to her bed, she proceeded to stage the scene to create a more presentable appearance. This involved placing Frankel on a pillow, folding her arms over her chest, and applying perfume, as per authorities’ statements.
Birch was subsequently arrested and admitted to the police that she attempted to suffocate Frankel by placing a plastic bag over her head. However, the victim managed to poke a hole in the bag. In response, Birch resorted to strangling Frankel to death, detectives revealed. This method of death was corroborated by physical evidence and an autopsy.
During police questioning, Birch disclosed that she called 911 to report the death. Doctors later determined that she was experiencing psychotic symptoms at the time of the murder and diagnosed her with schizoaffective disorder. However, it was determined that she still possessed an understanding of the wrongful nature of murder and could exercise control over her behavior in accordance with the law.
On March 20, Birch pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Frankel’s death. On June 29, a judge from the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office sentenced Birch to 40 years in prison. However, the judge suspended all but 23 years of the sentence, with an additional five years of supervised probation to follow her release. Birch will also be required to complete 240 hours of community service during her probation period.