A Virginia mother who sedated her daughters with melatonin gummies before shooting them to death five years ago was sentenced Friday to 78 years in prison.
Veronica Youngblood, 38, received the hefty sentence after the former sex worker was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony firearm use in March.
Youngblood shot his daughters Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, in their beds in their McLean apartment after drugging them with melatonin gummies in August 2018.
Brooklynn, who died at the scene, was shot in the head, while Sharon was shot in the back and once in the chest and later died at the hospital.
The teen was able to call 911 after being shot to inform the operator that her mother had pulled the trigger.
Jurors who heard Sharon’s call during the two-week trial were so traumatized that they asked if they could get therapy.
Veronica Youngblood, 38, received a 78-year prison sentence for sedating and shooting to death her daughters Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, in their beds in 2018. County Circuit Court fairfax
Youngblood told detectives she planned to kill them and herself after a protracted custody dispute.
As her teenage daughter lay dying, she called her ex-husband, Ron Youngblood, to tell him she hated him and that he had shot their children. He had originally planned to move to Missouri with the girls, but agreed to stay with Brooklynn at the urging of her ex.
Youngblood purchased the gun he used to take his daughters’ lives nine days before the disturbing murders.
The mother of two, who grew up in Argentina, called herself a “good mother” at her sentencing and said “something happened” in her brain.
Youngblood shot his daughter Sharon Castro, 15, once in the back and once in the chest. Fairfax County Circuit Court
“I don’t know how to explain it, something exploded in my mind,” she said through a translator during a 30-minute speech about her daughters and the difficulties she faced while raising them.
Youngblood presented an insanity defense at trial, claiming he heard voices, but it was rejected.
The jury recommended 78 years in prison after hearing testimony during sentencing that the killer mother grew up in poverty, suffered physical and sexual abuse as a child and turned to sex work as a teenager to support her eldest daughter.
Defense attorneys asked that the two sentences run concurrently, which would have reduced the sentence from 78 years to 42 years, which Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows rejected.
“Mothers and fathers have many responsibilities, but none are more serious than keeping their children safe. Tragically, his mother became the instrument of his death,” she said.
With postal cables