Maryland’s Highest Court Upholds Murder Conviction for Man who Helped Kill Two Northwest High School Students in Montgomery Village in 2017 

In June 2017, on the eve of their graduation from Northwest High School, Shadi Ali Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18, were ambushed and shot multiple times while they sat in a parked car in Montgomery Village. The Maryland Court of Appeals released its opinion today, affirming the second-degree murder convictions of Roger Garcia, 24, of Germantown, for his involvement in their deaths.  Garcia will continue serving his 100-year prison sentence.

Garcia was one of three men convicted in the murders. Co-defendants, Jose Canales-Yanez, and Edgar Garcia-Gaona, were each found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The Maryland Court of Appeals reinstated the murder conviction for co-defendant, Rony Galicia, on June 27th, 2022. He is also serving a life sentence without parole.

According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, at issue was whether a valid legal foundation exists to convict a defendant of second-degree intent to kill murder, as an accessory before the fact. The Court of Special Appeals held that it is conceivable for an accessory before the fact to aid, on impulse and without premeditation, another in the commission of a homicide with the intent to kill. Today the higher Court of Appeals affirmed that decision.

“Following this latest opinion, the convictions of all four co-defendants in the murders of two high school seniors in our community have been affirmed in the appeals process. Roger Garcia and the others who played a role in taking these young lives are being held responsible. Justice is served by the court’s decision. Though it will not bring the teenagers back, we hope this provides some relief for the families of  Shadi Ali Najjar and Artem Ziberov. Our hearts remain with them today,” said State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

You can read the full opinion here:

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.



2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES



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