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Maryland’s highest court reinstates murder conviction

June 28, 2022 GMT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has reinstated the murder conviction of a man who helped kill two Montgomery County high school students.

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued its ruling on Monday in the case of Rony Galicia, of Boyds, Maryland.

The ruling reverses an opinion from the Court of Special Appeals, which is the state’s intermediate appellate court. It 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 night before their graduation from Northwest High School, Shadi Ali Najjar, 17, and Artem Ziberov, 18, were shot multiple times while they sat in a parked car in Montgomery Village.

Four men, including 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 Court of Appeals has reached a different conclusion on both of those issues.