He may have worked for NASA but Michael Hetle is no rocket scientist. He couldn’t come up with enough of an excuse for his defense attorneys to work with, so he’s going to prison for a long time, probably life. He’s also going to get extra time for the aggravating circumstances of being White.
NASA exec goes ballistic
After five years of dog poop on his lawn and high-decibel jungle music from the house next door, 52-year-old former police officer and NASA executive Michael Hetle had enough.
His doorbell camera caught it all on tape. After they watched it, the jury didn’t buy his story that he was defending himself. It looked more like a cold blooded execution.
After shooting 24-year-old Javon Prather six times as soon as he opened the door, Hetle followed him out to the driveway and shot him again. “You want it too?” He asked Prather’s wife.
There were plenty of witnesses. Javon wasn’t armed when he walked up to the porch. Hetle claims he shot his neighbor in defense over previous threats. The former NASA administrator should have known that would never fly.
On Thursday, October 14, a Virginia jury found Hetle guilty of first-degree murder. They didn’t care about his NASA credentials. His former career as a cop didn’t go over real well either. They generally came to the conclusion he should have been smart enough to know better.
Everybody in the neighborhood knew about their feud, arguing for years “over mundane things like dog poop and loud music.” Hetle actually thought the jury would believe his lawyer’s story that “he acted in self-defense.”
Threatened multiple times
The NASA assassin claims “he believed Prather was armed and claimed to have been threatened by him multiple times ahead of the shooting.” Prosecutors simply rolled the doorbell video.
It was clearly “not self-defense,” and that it was “murder in the first degree, which is murder with malice and murder with premeditation.” Prather’s wife and other neighbors watched in March 2020 as Prather “knocked on Hetle’s door, and Hetle then fired six times at him.”
Prather “tried to run off” collapsing on Hetle’s driveway. Hetle finished him off with a seventh shot. Fairfax County prosecutor Lyle Burnham spelled it out for those who aren’t NASA scientists. “He didn’t want Javon hurt. He didn’t want Javon to leave. He wanted Javon dead.”
That’s when they played the race card. The real reason for the execution, is “racial animus.” Hetle, “a white man, had often referred to Prather, who’s of mixed race, using a racial epithet.”
The NASA killer’s sentence is scheduled for liftoff on January 28 and “Prosecutors are expected to recommend that he be sentenced to life in prison.”
If the shoe had been on the other foot and Prather had shot Hetle, it would have been declared an exercise of free speech and the defendant would be awarded an Antifa medal.