Virginia mother found guilty of killing her daughters to get revenge on ex

Police cars in Virginia on 3 May 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)
Police cars in Virginia on 3 May 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)

A 37-year-old Virginia woman was found guilty of killing her two daughters in a bid to exact revenge on her ex-husband.

Veronica Youngblood was convicted last week for murdering 15-year-old Sharon Castro and five-year-old Brooklynn Youngblood at their McLean home in 2018.

While the mother admitted to killing her children, the defendant pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. During the trial, the defence attorney argued that Youngblood had been hearing voices telling her to kill her two daughters.

Youngblood had moved the jury to tears when she described parental abuse while growing up. Her father physically assaulted her with a belt, broomstick and branch, while her grandfather sexually abused her as a child, she told the jury, reported WTOP.

She further said that after her parents left her and her sister in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she took to sex work, where she met her ex-husband Ron Youngblood, with whom she moved to the US, reported CBS affiliate Wusa 9.

He worked as overseas as a Navy pilot.

“Why did you leave me?” she asked him in the courtroom. “Why did you leave me alone with the girls? None of this would have happened!”

During the two-week-long trial, the prosecutor argued she was a murderer and not a victim.

Youngblood was accused of giving her younger daughter sleeping gummies before shooting her dead, while her 15-year-old daughter was shot in the back and chest. Sharon, however, managed to call 911, a recording of which was played in the courtroom.

In the audio, the teen could be heard struggling to breathe while telling the dispatcher that her mother shot her in the chest.

“I don’t wanna die,” she said in the recording, reported WTOP. “Please help me.”

While the 15-year-old told the dispatcher that her sister was also in the apartment, she was unaware that their mother had shot the five-year-old in the head, killing her sibling instantly and then leaving the apartment.

Sharon died in hospital days later.

Painting Youngblood as “selfish and spiteful”, Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Kelsey Gill said the 37-year-old was angry at her ex-husband for his plans to move to Missouri with Brooklynn.

At the time of the killing, she was also battling for custody, reported WTOP. The prosecutors added that after the murder, Youngblood called her ex and said, “I killed Brooklynn. I killed Sharon. I’m going to kill myself. I hate you. Bye.”

Defence attorney Andrew Elders had asked the jury to not hold her criminally liable for the killing as “she did not have the will to not do what she did”.

The jury will return on Monday to deliberate on the quantum of punishment to be meted out to Youngblood.