Monday, February 6

Former NASA executive would spend his entire life in prison after executing his neighbor


Former NASA executive will spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering his neighbor.

Foto:
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A life behind bars is what most likely awaits a former NASA executive and police officer in
Virginia after shooting her neighbor, a Maryland National Guardsman, in a drive-by shooting that was caught entirely on a doorbell camera.

Michael Hetle, 52, was sentenced by a Fairfax County judge to life in prison with the possibility of parole for shooting Javon Prather seven times, moments after the 24-year-old knocked on his door, Washington said. DC CBS affiliate WUSA reported

The contentious relationship that the two had dragged on since 2016 culminated in Prather being shot while standing on the porch of Hetle’s home.

The crime occurred on March 3, 2020 and was caught on Hetle’s own doorbell camera. There Prather is seen walking from his house to Hetle’s and knocking on the door.

He subsequently stepped back and appeared to be standing just over two feet from the door with his hands in his pockets when, according to reports, Hetle opened the door and fired six shots in seven secondsreported DC Fox affiliate WTTG.

Four of those shots were fired at point-blank range. and two of the shots struck Prather in the back as he walked down the stairs leading to the defendant’s front door.

Subsequently, NASA exec shot Prather for the seventh time as he lay dying in the man’s driveway.

Even before the shooting Hetle worked on hazard mitigation at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC for the agency’s Business Protection Program, which he joined in 2010.

The damning video was played during Hetle’s trial that ended with a jury in October convicting him of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, DC news station WTOP-FM reported.

Although the video showed Prather fleeing from Hetle’s door when he saw the gun, the defendant’s attorneys claimed the shooting was self-defense. While prosecutors said Prather was “executed,” according to reports.

As if that were not enough, after murdering Prather, the defendant was seen pointing the loaded gun at the victim’s wife, whom he threatened to shoot when tried to drag the inert body of her husband back to your property.

“Do you want it too?” yelled at Janelle Prather when she tried to control her husband. “Fuck you out of here. Get away,” he yelled repeatedly as he pointed the gun at the woman.

Another argument used by prosecutors was that “racial animus” played a role in Hetle’s actions; Janelle Prather testified that the neighbor often referred to her husband with “a racial epithet for black people,” The Washington Post reported.

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