Maryland Reinstates Murder Conviction For Boyds Man Who Helped Kill Two Northwest High School Students

by Patrick Herron

On Monday the Maryland Court of Appeals handed down its opinion in the case of Rony Galicia, 30, of Boyds, MD. Galicia was convicted in November 2018 of murdering two Northwest High School students in Montgomery Village on June 5, 2017. That conviction was overturned in January 2021 and remanded to Montgomery County Circuit Court. This now reinstates Galicia’s convictions on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of first-degree felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and armed robbery.

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. Four men, including Rony Galicia, were convicted of the murders in three separate trials. The Court of Special Appeals reversed Galicia’s conviction in January, 2021, on the basis of two evidentiary issues that arose during his trial, but the higher Court of Appeals has now reached a different conclusion on both of those issues, according to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“The opinion from Maryland’s highest court reaffirms what the State believed from the beginning. Rony Galicia is, indeed, responsible for the violent deaths of these two teenagers along with his co-defendants. We are pleased to learn the jury’s decision will be upheld and Galicia will continue to serve out his sentence of life without the possibility of parole.  Our hearts are with the families of the victims today,” said State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

Read the full opinion here: https://mdcourts.gov/data/opinions/coa/2022/5a21.pdf

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