An ex-prostitute from Virginia, who drugged her two daughters with melatonin-laced gummy bears before fatally shooting them in the head and killing them, decided to carry out the murders after she could no longer use the girls as “leverage” against her. ex husband.
Veronica Youngblood, 38, was arrested in August 2018 after shooting her daughters Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, five, in their apartment in McLean, Virginia.
The former sex worker was convicted in March 2023 of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of firearm use. On Friday she was sentenced to almost 80 years in prison.
Ron Youngblood, 52, says he believes his ex-wife committed the murders in an attempt to hurt him as much as possible after she made the decision to stay in Virginia while her ex-husband moved to Missouri.
‘They weren’t the most important things in my life, they were my life. That was all I really cared about. When she took that from me, I’ll never get that back.”
After being convicted in March, Veronica Youngblood was sentenced to 78 years in prison for the murders of her two daughters she shared with her husband, Ron Youngblood, now 52 years old.
Ron, left, planned to move to Missouri with at least one of his children, but his ex-wife decided to take revenge and kill them both instead.
Veronica Youngblood, left, and her daughter, Sharon Castro, who was shot in the back and chest and died in hospital in 2018
‘Those girls were a lever for her, a lever to get what she wanted from me. She clearly knew that those girls were the most important things in my life,” Youngblood told the New York Post.
Although Veronica had wanted to stay in Virginia, a judge decided that Ron could move to Missouri and take his only biological daughter with him. She had married her husband in 2009.
“When the judge decided that I could leave with Brooklynn, she saw that she had no more tools to use against me, so she decided to get rid of them,” he explained.
“She could do the only thing that could really hurt me and she tried for years and she wasn’t successful until she killed my girls. I wouldn’t put it past her that she would try to hurt me, but I never thought she would have hurt the girls.’
Brooklynn had died of a gunshot to the head, while Sharon was shot once in the back and once in the chest and died in the hospital.
Her ex-husband, Ron, 52, pictured, believes the murders would cause him the utmost pain after his ex-wife decided to stay in Virginia while he moved to Missouri.
Veronica Youngblood is shown with her daughters, Sharon Castro and Brooklynn Youngblood. She killed them in a gruesome act of revenge
At trial, Veronica Youngblood pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but her plea was rejected.
The jury did not believe “mental illness” played a role in Youngblood’s decision to give her children sleeping pill gummies before shooting them in their beds.
In a twisted act of revenge, Veronica shot the girls while they slept in their McLean apartment after sedating them on August 5, 2018.
The couple’s eldest daughter managed to survive long enough to call 911 and tell a dispatcher that she had been shot by her own mother.
Jurors heard a recording of that call during Youngblood’s two-week trial, with jurors so disturbed by what they heard that they asked if they could receive trauma therapy because of how traumatic the call was.
As her teenage daughter lay dying, Veronica called Ron to say she hated him and that she had shot the children.
Youngblood killed her children in revenge before her ex-husband, Ron, left, plans to move with their youngest, Brooklynn, right. Veronica had married her husband in 2009
She told investigators she planned to kill them and herself after a lengthy custody dispute.
At the time of her trial, Veronica was recorded telling investigators that she was guilty and deserved the death penalty for killing her children.
Prosecutors said she was manipulative and calculating.
In March this year, Veronica was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of firearms.
She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, with her lawyer claiming the Argentine heard voices, but the defense was rejected.
Before she was sentenced Friday, Youngblood spoke for more than 30 minutes about her daughters and the challenges she faced raising them.
Through a Spanish interpreter, she told the judge: “I’ve been a good mother, but something happened, I don’t know how to explain it.” Something exploded in my head.’
Ron Youngblood’s social media pages are full of photos of the children he had crushes on
He believes his children were murdered by his ex-wife to inflict as much pain on his life as possible
During the sentencing, the jury heard testimony that the killer mother grew up in poverty in Argentina, had been physically and sexually abused by relatives as a child and had turned to sex work to care for her eldest daughter.
She met her now former husband while he was stationed there in 2007. The two moved to Virginia in 2015 but divorced a year later.
Defense attorneys had asked that the two murder sentences run concurrently instead of consecutively, which would have reduced the sentence from 78 years to 42 years.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows said he saw no reason to reduce the jury’s recommendation that one sentence run after another.
Judge Bellows said in sentencing: ‘Mothers and fathers have many responsibilities, but none is more serious than the safety of their children. Tragically, their mother became the instrument of their death.”
Prosecutor Kelsey Gill said the killings were intentional and that Youngblood purchased the gun she used just nine days earlier.
Gill told the court: ‘There are truly no words that can describe the depravity with which Mrs Youngblood planned and carried out the execution of her children.
Public Defender Dawn Butorac said she expects Youngblood to appeal.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, whose office prosecuted the case, said in a statement after the hearing: “There is no outcome that can give these children back the lives that were taken from them, but today’s sentence is a benchmark for justice for their family.”
Ron said he was confident the judge would impose that maximum sentence, but that he would continue to grieve for his two girls.