Fairfax mother charged with killing 2 children refused to show up in court

Veronica Youngblood is charged with murdering her two daughters in Fairfax County, Va., in August 2018. (WTOP/Fairfax County Police)(WTOP/Fairfax County police)

A Fairfax County woman charged with murdering her two children will get one more chance to appear in a Virginia court Monday, after refusing to attend a Friday hearing.

Veronica Youngblood wouldn’t leave her jail cell Friday to attend a hearing, in which prosecutors intended to lay out some evidence against the 33-year-old McLean woman. She is charged with shooting her 5-year-old daughter Brooklynn and a teenage daughter whom prosecutors have not named, according to NBC Washington.

This is the second time Youngblood refused to be in court for her preliminary hearing. During such hearings a detective typically testifies and the judge determines whether there is enough evidence to require a trial.

Fairfax County juvenile court judge Thomas Sotelo scheduled a hearing by video conference for Monday morning, to warn Youngblood if she chooses not to appear for hearings, the case will go on without her.

“This case needs to move forward,” said Sotelo.

The preliminary hearing was rescheduled for May 10.

Prosecutors have not disclosed a motive for the killings, but Youngblood and her husband were in a custody battle, after a contentious divorce. All four family members were scheduled to move to Missouri — a move Youngblood opposed, according to divorce records.

Public defender Dawn Butorac had asked for a competency hearing for Youngblood, saying she had attempted to kill herself.

“She is an incredibly mentally ill individual,” said Butorac.

The judge said Friday that Youngblood was found competent to stand trial.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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