FAIRFAX, Va. — A woman in Fairfax County, Virginia, was sentenced to 78 years in prison after she was found guilty of murdering her two daughters in 2018.
Veronica Youngblood, 37, was found guilty of killing her daughters, Sharon Castro, 15; and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, inside their apartment in Fairfax County, according to WUSA.
Castro survived the attack long enough to call 911, The Associated Press reported. Castro told the dispatchers that her mother had shot her. The recording of the call was played during the trial which was so “traumatic that jurors inquired about whether they could receive trauma therapy.”
Youngblood reportedly told investigators that she was planning to kill herself due to a custody dispute, her ex-husband, Ron Youngblood, told the AP after the hearing. He said he wanted to move both daughters to Missouri but eventually agreed he would only take Brooklynn Youngblood.
Officials said that Youngblood fed the two girls sleeping pill gummies before the shootings, the AP reported.
Youngblood faced a maximum penalty of life in prison but a jury in March recommended that she serve 78 years, which came down to 36 years for each murder and six years combined for the use of a firearm in each murder, according to WUSA. The judge on Friday seemed to have gone with the jury’s recommendation.
“This case was one of the first I received when I came into office, and I still get chills remembering the photos of Brooklynn and Sharon after being killed by their mother,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said Friday, according to the news outlet. “There is no outcome that can give these children back the lives that were taken from them, but today’s sentence is a measure of justice for their family.”