Judge Finds Canales-Yanez Guilty in Najjar, Ziberov Murders

State’s Attorney John McCarthy, surrounded by family members of two boys gunned down, addresses the media.

Jose Canales-Yanez was one of four killers of two boys nearing graduation last June, a Montgomery County judge ruled Thursday.

Canales, 26, faces life without parole when he is sentenced March 28, State’s Attorney John McCarthy said at a news conference after the judge rendered his verdicts. Life without parole is the stiffest penalty in Maryland.

The victims, Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov, were to graduate June 6 from Northwest High School in Germantown. The day before, the two were gunned down on a quiet residential street in Montgomery Village where they expected to sell an extra ticket to the graduation ceremony.

Circuit Court Judge David Boynton found Canales guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit the murders, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and armed robbery.

The robbery charge comes from the theft of Najjar’s cell phone. Canales also took the ticket to the graduation, McCarthy said.

“Judge Boynton found that Mr. Jose Canales-Yanez was in facr the shooter who went up to and approached Mr. Najjar and shot Mr. Najjar at extremely close range leaving stippling marks on his face,” McCarthy said.

Three others have been charged in the case: Edgar Garcia-Gaona, 24, of the 100 block of Lamont Lane in Gaithersburg; Roger Garcia, 19, of the 19500 block of Frederick Road in Germantown; and Rony Alexander Galicia, 25, of the 19500 block of Frederick Road in Germantown.

McCarthy said the three other defendants would be tried separately.

In sentencing Canales, Boynton found that Najjar had stolen drugs from Canales’ wife in December 2016.

Boynton also found that the killing involved four shooters and four handguns, a .40-caliber, a .45-caliber and two 9 mm pistols.

The judge called it a circumstantial case, but two witnesses had come forward. Had they not volunteered to testify, McCarthy said the trial could have had a different outcome.

As he issued his verdict, Boynton noted that Canales’ computer showed he searched for a song called, “I Killed for My Family.”

Here, McCarthy addresses the media about the case as he is surrounded by family members of the victims:

Previous Posts:

Family Has Little Information About Son’s Killing (VIDEO)

UPDATED: Police Investigate Double Homicide in Montgomery Village

Manger Announces Arrests of Three Suspects in Double Homicide Case (VIDEO)

Police Make Fourth Arrest in June Killings of Students

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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