A Virginia mother condemned to 78 years in jail on Friday for seducing her daughters with melatonin gummies before killing shooting them five years ago.
Veronica Youngblood, 38, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in March of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of felony firearm usage.
In August 2018, Youngblood shot her daughters Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, in their McLean apartment beds after drugging them with melatonin gummies.
Brooklynn was shot once in the head and died at the scene, while Sharon was wounded twice in the back and once in the chest and died later at the hospital.
After getting shot, the adolescent was able to phone 911.
Following a protracted custody struggle, Youngblood told detectives she intended to kill them and herself.
As her adolescent daughter died, she called her ex-husband, Ron Youngblood, and told him she despised him and had killed their children. He had intended to go to Missouri with the daughters, but consented to take Brooklynn at the request of his ex.
Youngblood purchased the firearm she used to murder her daughters nine days before the heinous murders.
At her sentence, the mother of two, who grew up in Argentina, described herself as a “good mother” and stated that “something happened” in her brain.
“I don’t know how to explain it, something exploded in my mind,” she said via a translator during a 30-minute speech about her girls and the hardships she faced while raising them.
Youngblood presented an insanity defense at trial, claiming she heard voices, but it was rejected.
The jury recommended 78 years in prison after hearing testimony during sentencing that the killer mom grew up in poverty, was physically and sexually abused as a child and turned to sex work as a teen to support her older daughter.
Defense lawyers 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 nixed.
“Mothers and fathers have many responsibilities, but none is more grave than keeping their children safe. Tragically, their mother became the instrument of their death,” he said.