A Virginia woman convicted of killing her two daughters in revenge against her ex-husband was sentenced Friday to 78 years in prison.

Veronica Youngblood, 38, was found guilty in March of feeding melatonin gummies to Sharon Castro, 15, and Brooklynn Youngblood, 5, and then shooting them in their apartment in McLean in 2018, as CrimeOnline reported. Castro lived long enough to call 911 to say she’d been shot by her mother.

While the teen was calling 911, her mother was leaving a message for her ex-husband, Ron Youngblood, that she’d killed the children and hated him. Prosecutors said the murders were vengeance against Youngblood, who was planning to move to Missouri and take Brooklynn with him.

The jury rejected an insanity defense put on by Veronica Youngblood’s defense, which described her childhood in her native Argentina as one of poverty and sexual abuse by family members before she turned to sex work to support her oldest daughter.

Prosecutors, however, noted that she bought the gun she used days before for the sole purpose of killing her daughters.

The jury recommended 78 years, and Judge Randy Bellows said he saw no reason to reduce it, The Associated Press reported.

“Mothers and fathers have many responsibilities, but none is more grave than keeping their children safe,” he said. “Tragically, their mother became the instrument of their death.”

Before the sentencing, Youngblood spoke for 30 minutes.

“I’ve been a good mother, but something happened, I don’t know how to explain it,” she told the judge through a Spanish interpreter. “Something exploded in my mind.”

Youngblood’s lawyer, public defender Dawn Butorac, said she expects her client to appeal.

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[Featured image: Veronica Youngblood/Fairfax County Circuit Court]

Post source: Crime Online

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