Montgomery County

Man Sentenced to 100 Years in Prison for Murders of Md. Teens on Eve of Graduation

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A judge delivered the maximum sentence to a man convicted in the killing of two Maryland high school students on the eve of their graduation.

Northwest High School students Shadi Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18, were found shot to death June 5, 2017, in a blue Honda Civic in Montgomery Village.

Roger Garcia arranged to meet the teens at a cul-de-sac to buy a graduation ticket from them, but instead he and three other men opened fire on them, prosecutors said.

Garcia was sentenced Friday to 100 years in prison on two counts of second-degree murder and two gun charges.

The other gunmen — Rony Galicia, Edgar Garcia-Gaona and Jose Canales-Yanez — previously were sentenced to life in prison.

“This was an execution murder,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said. “There were 30 shots that rang out in that cul-de-sac in Montgomery Village where these two young men were lured to that particular location believing that they were selling an extra graduation ticket for Northwest High School.”

Both families gave emotional statements in court Friday.


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Garcia’s mom said her son was molested by a teacher in middle school. His attorney said he has epilepsy and Asperger’s syndrome.

The victims’ families said that was no excuse for taking lives.

“They said after time and time, time will heal,” said Shadi Najjar’s father, Adi Najjar. “I can tell you that time will never heal. We’re going to remember our boy until the day we die.”

Garcia lured Shadi Najjar through Snapchat to buy the ticket he was selling, prosecutors said, but actually it was retaliation for Najjar allegedly robbing marijuana from the wife of another suspect months earlier.

Prosecutors argued if Garcia had not reached out to Najjar via Snapchat the teens would still be alive.

“He talked about it like he was a casual observer,” McCarthy said. “He talked about the pain he saw them suffer during the course of the trial but took no responsibility, offered no apology.”

The victims were their parents only children.

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