27-Year-Old-Woman Pleads Guilty to Murder of Her 92-Year-Old-Roommate

by Patrick Herron

According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, “Today in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD, before the Honorable John Maloney, defendant, Julia Birch, 27, of Kensington, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the death of her 92-year-old roommate, Nancy Ann Frankel. Birch faces up to 40 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 29th at 10 a.m.before Judge Maloney.

On July 28, 2021 Montgomery County Police and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a residence on Spruell Drive in Kensington, Maryland for a death investigation. Upon their arrival, the complainant, 26-year-old Julia Birch, told officers that she had suffocated and killed her 92-year-old roommate, identified as Nancy Ann Frankel, who was found deceased in her bedroom. Birch had staged the body to look more presentable, laying the victim on a pillow, folding her arms over her chest, and putting perfume on her.  This was after initially unsuccessfully trying to get the body back into her bed.  Birch was taken into custody and transported to Montgomery County Police Headquarters to be interviewed.  She admitted to killing Nancy Ann Frankel by trying to place a plastic bag over Frankel’s head to suffocate her, and when the victim poked a hole in the bag, Birch took her to the ground and strangled her to death.  Physical evidence and autopsy confirmed the method of death.  Birch admitted to then calling 911 to report the death.

Birch was evaluated by a State doctor who found that she was experiencing psychotic symptoms at the time of the murder and diagnosed her with schizoaffective disorder, but found she still understood murder was wrong and could control her conduct to conform to law.

Nancy Ann Frankel


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