ROCKVILLE, Md. - A Montgomery County man convicted of murdering two Northwest High School students one day before their graduation was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Jose Canales-Yanez was found guilty earlier this year for the deadly shooting of Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov.
Najjar and Ziberov were shot to death on the night of June 5, 2017 while they were inside a blue Honda Civic parked in a Montgomery Village neighborhood.
According to authorities, Najjar and Ziberov had agreed to meet with another teenager to sell an extra ticket to their graduation ceremony. However, it ended up being an ambush as the Northwest High School students were shot several times by three gunmen.
Authorities said Canales-Yanez plotted to take out Najjar in retaliation for a drug-related robbery of his wife by the 17-year-old student. Officials said Najjar stole drugs and an iPad from Canales-Yanez's wife while also hitting her with a car in Dec. 2016.
Ziberov was not an intended target and did not have any connection with the robbery or drugs, according to officials.
The evidence presented at trial showed Canales-Yanez knew Najjar was at the wheel of the car that struck his wife, but he claimed not to know when questioned by police at the scene. Evidence also showed Canales-Yanez knew Najjar's phone number and called it several times after his wife was ripped off of the marijuana she was attempting to sell Najjar.
Canales-Yanez is one of four people charged in connection with the deaths of the students.