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The Parents of Slain Northwest Students Asked Judge for Justice for Their Boys

At the sentencing of Jose Canales-Yanez on Tuesday, the parents of Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov, the two boys that Canales-Yanez has been convicted of killing in cold blood on the eve of their graduation from Northwest High School demanded full justice for their sons.

In January, Canales-Yanez, 26, of Gaithersburg was found guilty on all eight counts held in the indictment, including the top two counts of Murder in the First Degree for the killing of Northwest High School seniors Shadi Najjar and Artem Ziberov as they sat in Najjar’s blue Honda Civic on Monday, June 5, 2017 on Gallery Court in Montgomery Village.

In courtroom 4G of the south tower of Montgomery County Circuit Court building in Rockville, Adi Najjar, Shadi’s father, and William Tewelow, Artem Ziberov’s step-father faced down the man who orchestrated what Judge David Boynton called an “ambush” and “slaughter” of their only sons.

Each man sat in the witness box and read letters from their wives, the boys’ mothers, and each man asked Judge Boynton to show no mercy in his sentencing of Canales-Yanez.

Shadi Najjar’s father began saying, “I thank God for blessing us with a beautiful boy for 17-years.” He recalled getting the phone call that fateful morning on Tuesday, June 6 the morning after his son and friend were executed by Canales-Yanez and three other men in Montgomery Village. Adi Najjar was at his mosque when his cell phone rang that morning. He hoped it was good news because he knew that his son did not return home the night before. It wasn’t. It was a police detective asking him to return home because police were at his house and his wife did not want to let them in.

He recalled getting home and the female detective asking him to to go inside. “She wanted me to go in the house so that she could give me the bad news. Our lives have not been the same since.”