Three charged with two counts of first-de­gree mur­der in teens’ deaths

The Washington Times Daily - - METRO -

Three peo­ple have been charged with killing two Mont­gomery County teens who were found dead the night be­fore their high school grad­u­a­tion, and po­lice said they be­lieve the slay­ings were re­venge for a rob­bery that one of the teens was ru­mored to have com­mit­ted.

The three are charged in the deaths of 17-year-old Shadi Adi Na­j­jar and 18-yearold Artem Ziberov, Mont­gomery County Po­lice Chief J. Thomas Manger said at a news con­fer­ence late Satur­day.

The sus­pects were iden­ti­fied as Jose Canales-Yanez, 25; Roger Gar­cia, 19; and Edgar Gar­cia-Gaona, 34.

Chief Manger said each is be­ing charged with two counts of first-de­gree mur­der and con­spir­acy to com­mit first­de­gree mur­der. He said Mr. Gar­cia and Mr. Gar­cia-Gaona are broth­ers.

Chief Manger said in­ves­ti­ga­tors learned from friends of Na­j­jar that he was ru­mored to have robbed Mr. Canales-Yanez’s girl­friend in De­cem­ber, and was killed in re­tal­i­a­tion.

“We’re un­sure right now if there was a mo­tive to kill Ziberov as well, or if he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the po­lice chief added.

Na­j­jar and Ziberov were found shot to death late Mon­day in a blue Honda Civic in Mont­gomery Vil­lage, they night be­fore they were sup­posed to grad­u­ate from North­west High School.

Chief Manger said Na­j­jar had been shot four times and Ziberov 10 times. Amid the shat­tered win­dow glass po­lice found nu­mer­ous shell cas­ings, in­clud­ing some Glaser .40-cal­iber shells.

“We be­lieve there were 30 rounds fired,” he said.

Chief Manger said in­ves­ti­ga­tors learned that Na­j­jar was ru­mored to have com­mit­ted a rob­bery in late 2016.

They linked the ru­mor to a report filed by Mr. CanalesYanez’s then-girl­friend who told po­lice on Dec. 14 that the pas­sen­ger in a blue Honda Civic had grabbed her iPad and dragged her about 50 feet with the car. He said an in­for­mant told in­ves­ti­ga­tors Na­j­jar was killed in re­venge for that rob­bery.

He said an in­for­mant iden­ti­fied the three sus­pects to in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

He also said that just be­fore Na­j­jar died, he texted some­one say­ing he was go­ing to sell a grad­u­a­tion ticket to Roger Gar­cia, who was iden­ti­fied as a North­west High School stu­dent.

“We’re cer­tainly work­ing on the strong pos­si­bil­ity that this was a ruse to get the two vic­tims to that lo­ca­tion,” Chief Manger said.

He said a par­tial box of Glaser .40-cal­iber am­mu­ni­tion was found at Mr. Gar­ci­aGaona’s house. He also said the sus­pects took Na­j­jar’s cell­phone.

He said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing, and said he hoped the re­lease of the sus­pects’ names would spur oth­ers with knowl­edge of the case to come for­ward.

“We think there’s more in­for­ma­tion that folks out in the com­mu­nity have that can move us even fur­ther along with this case,” Chief Manger said.

Gar­cia

Gar­cia-Gaona

Canales-Yanez

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