37-year-old mother is convicted of murdering her two daughters, aged 15 and five, back in 2018 in revenge plot on ex-husband following her loss in custody battle
Veronica Youngblood was dragged screaming from the court after prosecutors called for life sentences
She has been found guilty of murdering her two children at home in McLean, in an apparent bid to get revenge on her estranged husband
Youngblood, then 33, was arrested in August 2018, on the charge of second-degree murder
She’d drugged her daughters Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, before shooting them in a ‘calculated’ rampage, prosecutors said
Nine days earlier shed bought the murder weapon which was recovered from the home at the time of her arrest
Youngblood called her former husband to say she hated him as eldest lay dying – the younger child was already dead after being shot in the head
Ronald Youngblood had a protective order issued against Veronica her by a former spouse concerning a 4-year-old child in 2016 – their 6 year long marriage ended in divorce a year earlier
She has been found guilty of murdering her two children in an apparent bid to get revenge on her estranged husband
Youngblood was dragged out of court screaming as prosecutors called for her to get a life sentence
A Virginia woman has been found guilty of murdering her two children in an apparent bid to get revenge on her ex-husband – and she was dragged out of court screaming as prosecutors called for her to get a life sentence.
Veronica Youngblood, 37, admitted to sedating and killing Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, in 2018, but pled not guilty on grounds of insanity.
The jury was not convinced that mental illness was a mitigating factor in the mother’s decision to give her children sleeping gummies before shooting them dead in cold blood.
As her teenage daughter Sharon lay dying, Veronica called her ex-husband Ronald Youngblood to say she hated him and gloat that she had shot the children.
The panel on Wednesday convicted Youngblood of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony firearm use.
The mother-of two killed her two minor daughters in her McLean apartment out of spite, as her ex-husband who had just got a new posting from the US Navy, planned to relocate with their youngest child, fiver-year-old Brooklynn.
Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kelsey Gill told the court the defendant was a ‘malicious, selfish and deliberate killer’.
Gill said during closing statements: ‘This case goes well beyond merely having a mental illness.
‘This goes well beyond depression. This goes well beyond PTSD. This goes well beyond being suicidal.’
Defense counsel Dawn Butorac told the court the defendant’s behavior was driven by her upbringing
Growing up in poverty, subject to physical and sexual abuse by family members, and leading her to become a sex worker after becoming pregnant with her eldest at the age of 16.
Butorac said Youngblood met her former husband Ronald Youngblood as a sex worker. The pair got married in 2009 and had their daughter Brooklynn in 2012.
The Fairfax County Public Defender added that her client had been hearing voices.
A distressed Youngblood was recorded telling investigators she was guilty and deserved the death penalty for killing her children. Prosecutors said that she was manipulative and calculated.
She had bought a handgun nine days before shooting her children dead.
Youngblood also gave her children sleeping gummies to ensure they would not be able to resist.
Brooklynn died from a gunshot to the head.
Sharon called the police after she was shot once in the back and once in the chest and reported that her mother had shot them. She died in hospital.
Youngblood, then 33, was found after an acquaintance called police when she knocked on the door, McLean Police District reported.
She was taken into custody on August 6, 2018 without incident and held without bond.
The firearm believed to be involved was recovered upon her arrest.
In 2016, Youngblood’s former spouse had requested a protective order against her concerning a 4-year-old child.
The marriage between Veronica Youngblood and Ronald Youngblood, 47, began with a 2009 Las Vegas wedding. The couple had Brooklynn in 2015. The couple were also raising Veronica’s older daughter from a prior relationship.
Even though the marriage dissolved in 2015, the family all lived together, the last being their home in Oakton, Northern Virginia.
Court documents describe a co-parenting and co-custody situation fraught with disputes.
Ronald Youngblood fought for sole custody of Brooklynn, arguing that it was “not in the best interests of Brooklynn” for Veronica to have custody of her.
His attorney wrote that she “has proved to be an irresponsible parent who shirked her parental duties.” He also worried she could easily return to her native Argentina with their child.
The last dispute involved a planned move to Missouri for Ronald Youngblood’s job with the United States Navy. The whole family was supposed to move, but Veronica did not want to go.
She petitioned the court in April and June to obtain primary custody of Brooklyn and stay in Virginia. She claimed that she had obtained full time employment and had moved out. She said the move to Missouri would be a “significant burden to her young daughter.”
The move to move to Missouri was supposed to take place in the beginning of August.
In court on Tuesday, Veronica Youngblood told Judge August Steinhilber that she did not want counsel. She affirmed that she did not have funds to hire a lawyer.