Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!
Virginia Mother Convicted Of Murdering Her Two Daughters, Supposedly To Get Back At Her Ex-Husband
Veronica Youngblood fatally shot her two daughters – 15-year-old Sharon Castro and 5-year-old Brooklyn Youngblood – in what prosecutors argued was a revenge plot against her ex.
A Virginia woman was convicted of gunning down her two daughters in what prosecutors framed as a revenge plot against her ex-husband.
Veronica Youngblood, 37, fatally shot daughters Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklyn Youngblood, 5, on Aug. 5, 2018 in their McLean, Virginia apartment. She never disputed that she pulled the trigger, but pleaded guilty by reason of insanity.
She couldn’t persuade a Fairfax County jury, however, and was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony firearm usage after a two-week trial and a day of deliberations.
Prosecutors said Youngblood was motivated by revenge against her ex-husband, Ron Youngblood, with whom she shared her daughter Brooklyn, because he was planning on moving to Missouri and taking the younger child with him, according to The Washington Post.
“This case goes well beyond merely having a mental illness,” Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kelsey Gill said in her closing arguments on Tuesday. “This goes well beyond depression. This goes well beyond PTSD. This goes well beyond being suicidal.”
Youngblood had purchased the murder weapon nine days before carrying out the killing, Gill told jurors, and had drugged the girls with sleeping medication so they would be defenseless before she shot them in their apartment.
Brooklyn died immediately from a gunshot wound to the head. Sharon was shot in the back and chest, but managed to call 911 and tell dispatchers her mother had shot her; she succumbed to her injuries later in the hospital.
As the elder girl bled out on the ground, according to the Washington Post, the mother called her former husband to tell him that she'd shot the two girls and that she hated him.
Youngblood's Public Defender, Dawn Butorac, painted a sympathetic picture of the Argentina native, telling the court that she had been abused physically and sexually as a child before taking up sex work after becoming pregnant at 16 years old with her oldest daughter. She met her now-ex husband through sex work, she said – they married in 2009, and Brooklyn was born in 2012.
Butorac showed jurors a tape of Youngblood's interview with police, in which she admitted to the shooting, and expressed her wish to die.
"So, your punishment should be what?" an investigator asked.
"The death penalty," Youngblood replied matter-of-factly.
Butorac told jurors that her client was hearing voices leading up to the killing. And Maira Kaczuba, the defendant's sister, testified that Youngblood practiced a South American religion called Umbanda, and believed she could commune with the dead.
But prosecutors argued Youngblood’s insanity defense was disingenuous.
Her insanity defense, prosecutor Claiborne Richardson said, was disingenuous:
“This person wants to manipulate, this person wants to lie, ensue chaos, all for this person’s personal gain,” prosecutor Claiborne Richardson said. “Ms. Youngblood is spiteful, selfish, vengeful and calculated.”
Youngblood's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 22, according to local outlet WJLA; the jury recommended she serve 78 years, the outlet reported.