Fairfax Co. jury recommends 78 years for woman in 2018 shooting, killing of two daughters

A Fairfax County, Virginia, jury on Monday recommended a sentence of 78 years in prison, for the woman convicted of shooting and killing of her two daughters at their McLean home in 2018.

Veronica Youngblood was convicted of two counts of first degree murder, and two counts of felony firearm use on Wednesday.

Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows has the final say in handing down Youngblood’s sentence.

In the trial, Youngblood’s public defenders said she was not guilty by reason of insanity. They said Youngblood was hearing voices that had told her to kill her daughters, 15-year-old Sharon Castro and 5-year-old Brooklynn.

The defense said her actions were the result of years of Youngblood enduring physical and sexual abuse. The jury rejected the defense’s argument Wednesday.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said that it has been an “emotional and grueling trial,” and was “gratifying” that the jury gave out the sentence, which reflected the “seriousness of the charge.”

“We have two little girls whose lives should still be ahead of them, whose lives were cut short by the person that they were supposed to trust the most in the world, which is their mother,” Descano said.

Youngblood had never denied killing her daughters. During the trial, jurors were shown a videotaped interview with investigators, hours after the killings, when she acknowledged she was guilty and said she deserved the death penalty.

Jurors also heard the 911 call from Youngblood’s older daughter, begging for help after telling the dispatcher her mother had shot her.

“For people who aren’t used to this, like our juries, it must have been incredibly, incredibly difficult for them,” said Descano. “Not only making it through the trial, but doing their duty and really showing how slowly they deliberated by taking so long to come up to these outcomes.”

Prosecutors portrayed Youngblood as a selfish, calculating woman who was angry at her ex-husband for his plans to move to Missouri with Brooklynn. Prosecutors said Youngblood bought a handgun nine days before the shootings, for the specific purpose of killing her daughters and herself, and gave the children sleeping pill gummies so they would be defenseless when she shot them.

Descano said, after the verdict was announced, that his message for parents is to take care of their children.

“Anybody who has a kid knows that their child is the number one thing in their life. This crime was so poor, because it went completely against that. I can’t even imagine harming my daughter, and I know parents can’t imagine harming their children,” he said.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

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.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up