100-year sentence in killing of Montgomery County teens night before graduation

100-year sentence in killing of Montgomery County teens night before graduation

The fourth man convicted of killing two Germantown, Maryland, teens the night before they were supposed to graduate from high school in 2017 was sentenced Friday to 100 years in prison, WTOP reports.

Roger Garcia was convicted of second-degree murder and gun charges last month in the deaths of Shadi Adi Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18, who were found in a running Honda Civic on Gallery Court in Montgomery Village in June 2017.

Garcia was given the maximum sentence on all counts: 30 years for each murder charge and 20 years for each handgun count.

Najjar and Ziberov were students at Northwest High School on June 5, 2017, and had been lured to the spot in Montgomery Village, thinking they were selling spare tickets to their graduation the next day. Najjar was shot four times; Ziberov, 10. The police found 30 shell casings at the site.

The other three men convicted in the case — Jose Canales-Yanez, Rony Galicia and Garcia’s brother, Edgar Garcia Gaona — have been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

In court documents, prosecutors said Garcia fired at least six of the shots and was instrumental in luring the teens to the spot, friending Najjar on Snapchat about a week before and setting up the false sale of the graduation tickets.

“Without [Garcia’s involvement], they never would have gone there,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said in a news conference Friday after the sentencing.

“Only this defendant was initially aware that Shadi’s selling a graduation ticket created an opportunity for the ambush,” the prosecutors said; “… none of the other three accomplices in these murders could have accomplished the creation of this connection.”

The documents also said Ziberov was an acquaintance of Najjar’s, who had nothing to do with the robbery, but “the murderers went ahead and decided to murder Artem anyway.”


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