MCLEAN, VA – Veronica Youngblood, a 38-year-old Virginia resident, was handed a 78-year prison sentence on Friday for the horrific murder of her two daughters. Youngblood was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as wo counts of felony firearm use in March.
In a chilling incident in August 2018, Youngblood administered melatonin gummies to her daughters, 15-year-old Sharon Castro and 5-year-old Brooklynn Youngblood, before shooting them while they slept in their McLean apartment. Brooklynn was pronounced dead at the scene, while Sharon managed to call 911 before succumbing to her injuries at the hospital.
The trial, which lasted two weeks, was particularly harrowing for the jury, who were deeply affected by the 911 call made by Sharon. The distressing nature of the call led some jurors to seek therapy. Youngblood admitted to detectives that she had intended to kill her daughters and herself due to an ongoing custody battle.
In a disturbing twist, Youngblood called her ex-husband, Ron Youngblood, as their older daughter lay dying. She informed him that she had shot their children. Ron had initially planned to relocate to Missouri with their girls, but agreed only to take Brooklynn at Veronica’s insistence. The handgun used in the murders was purchased by Veronica just nine days before the tragic event.
At her sentencing, Youngblood, described herself as a “good mother” and suggested that “something happened” in her mind. She attempted to rationalize her actions during a 30-minute speech about her daughters and the challenges she faced while raising them.
Youngblood’s defense team presented an insanity plea, claiming she heard voices, but this was dismissed at trial. The jury recommended a 78-year prison term after hearing testimony about Youngblood’s impoverished childhood, her experiences of physical and sexual abuse, and her resort to sex work as a teenager to support her older daughter.
The defense proposed that the two sentences run concurrently, which would have reduced the sentence to 42 years. However, this was rejected by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows.