MCLEAN, Va. – A woman in Virginia has been found guilty of murdering both of her daughters in what prosecutors described as a sickening case of revenge against her ex-husband, who planned to move out of the area with the youngest girl.
Veronica Youngblood, 37, confessed to murdering her children, 15-year-old Sharon Castro and 5-year-old Brooklynn Youngblood, on Aug. 5, 2018. Following her acknowledged crimes, she pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the homicides, according to the Washington Post.
Nevertheless, the jury convicted the former sex worker last week of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony firearm use. They were not convinced that mental illness was a major factor in the slayings, the news outlet reported.
Youngblood’s defense attorney said her actions were the result of physical and sexual abuse she allegedly experienced by her own family.
Conversely, Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kelsey Gill described Youngblood during trial as a malicious, selfish and deliberate killer, according to the news outlet.
As her teenage daughter lay dying, she phoned her former husband, Ron Youngblood, to inform him that she hated him and she’d shot the girls.
Ron Youngblood planned to move with the couple’s younger daughter to Missouri. Murdering the kids was her twisted revenge, prosecutors said, according to the Washington Post.
“This case goes well beyond merely having a mental illness,” Gill said during closing arguments. “This goes well beyond depression. This goes well beyond PTSD. This goes well beyond being suicidal.”
The now convicted killer purchased a handgun nine days prior to the heinous crimes. She also gave the girls sleeping gummies so they would be unable to fight back and stop her homicidal actions in their Virginia apartment, Gill told jurors, the New York Post reported.
Veronica Youngblood is pictured with her daughters, Sharon Castro and Brooklynn Youngblood. (Family Handout)
Five-year-old Brooklyn died at the scene due to a gunshot wound to the head. Although Sharon suffered two gunshot wounds, one in the back and one in the chest, she managed to call 911 and say her mother was the killer before she later died at the hospital, according to the Washington Post.
Fairfax County public defender Dawn Butorac represented Youngblood. She said the Argentinean-born woman was raised in poverty and became a sex worker after she had her older daughter as a 16-year-old teen. The defense attorney also claimed her client was hearing voices as she practiced a South American religion that claims they have the ability to communicate with the dead.
Veronica Youngblood, left, and her daughter Sharon Castro. (Fairfax County Circuit Court)
During a taped interview, Youngblood told detectives that she killed her children, while adding that she deserved the death penalty.
“This person wants to manipulate, this person wants to lie, ensue chaos, all for this person’s personal gain,” said prosecutor Claiborne Richardson. “Ms. Youngblood is spiteful, selfish, vengeful and calculated.”
The trial covered two weeks of evidence presentation and testimony. The jury returned a guilty verdict in one day, the New York Post reported.
It’s unclear when sentencing will take place.