A 33-year-old woman accused of killing one of her daughters and injuring a second in a shooting Sunday night told a judge Tuesday she does not want an attorney.
Dressed in a green jumpsuit, Veronica Youngblood appeared in court for the first time Tuesday via a closed-circuit television. Police say Youngblood shot two children inside an apartment in the 1500 block of Lincoln Circle in McLean, Virginia, Sunday night. One of the children died at the scene while the other remains in life-threatening condition, police say.
Youngblood has been charged with second-degree murder, and additional charges are expected, Fairfax County police say.
At Tuesday's hearing, when the judge asked Youngblood about an attorney, she said quietly, "I don't want counsel." But the judge appointed her a public defender, citing the seriousness of the charges she is facing.
Youngblood was arrested Sunday night in neighboring Loudoun County after she knocked on the front door of an acquaintance and that person called police.
News4 obtained audio of the call, which suggests the two victims are Youngblood's daughters.
"Silverwood Terrace. Advising the suspect is there saying she just killed her two daughters. Currently has a gun," a dispatcher said in the call.
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Court documents reveal Veronica Youngblood has a 5-year-old daughter named Brooklynn Youngblood and an older daughter.
A medical examiner confirmed to News4 that a Brooklynn Youngblood died of a gunshot wound to the head.
Police said they cannot identify the victims due to a state law passed in Virginia in 2017. Police need written permission from the families of juveniles to release their names. Authorities have not commented on the relationship between Youngblood and the victims.
A gun was recovered at the scene when Youngblood was arrested, police say.
Court records reveal Veronica Youngblood has spent years in court with her ex-husband in divorce proceedings and hashing out custody issues. At one time, her ex-husband got a protective order against her, according to documents.
Although they divorced, the pair lived together at a townhouse so they could both be part of the girls' lives, court documents said.
He was retiring from the Navy this week, and under a court agreement, the entire family was relocating to Missouri so both parents could stay involved in the girls' lives. Her ex-husband agreed to pay Youngblood's rent and other expenses.
But just weeks ago, Youngblood moved into the new apartment in McLean after filing court papers saying that she didn't want to go to Missouri and that she'd found a new job here and wanted to get primary custody of the 5-year-old daughter.
The victim's paternal great-grandmother, Prudie Shaw, said the surving teenage girl has had three surgeries. Though she was Youngblood's daughter from a previous relationship, her ex-husband has raised her as his own and is keeping vigil.
"They were beautiful children," Shaw said. "I can't believe it."
Police say Youngblood is being held without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18.