4th man to be sentenced in 2017 killing of 2 Montgomery County high school students

The fourth and final man accused of killing two Germantown, Maryland, boys on the night before their high school graduation will soon be sentenced.

Roger Garcia is the fourth person convicted of murder in the June 2017 deaths of Shadi Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18. The Northwest High School students were found shot inside Najjar’s running car in a cul-de-sac in Montgomery Village.

Prosecutors said the boys were lured to the place where they were shot under the guise of selling an extra graduation ticket.

Three other men have already been convicted in connection to their deaths: Roger Garcia’s brother Edgar Garcia-Gaona, Rony Galicia and Jose Canales-Yanez.

At the time of Canales-Yanez’s conviction, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said the shooting was a “revenge killing,” and that Najjar had stolen drugs from Canales-Yanez’s future wife.

At the bond hearing for Roger Garcia, Edgar Garcia-Gaona and Canales-Yanez in June 2017, Najjar’s father said “there is no proof” that his son was involved in selling or using drugs.

After Canales-Yanez’s sentencing in July 2018, McCarthy called Ziberov “an acquaintance” of Najjar’s who had nothing to do with the robbery, and he said the defendants saw that he was in the car but shot into it anyway.

McCarthy said Canales-Yanez fired the last three shots into Najjar from very close range, and he reached in to take Najjar’s cellphone afterward, knowing that evidence of their earlier interactions was on it. This all added up to “an indifference to life,” McCarthy said.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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