A jury convicted a NASA executive in the death of his neighbor, a Maryland National Guardsman.
The jury found Michael Hetle, a former police officer, guilty of first-degree murder for shooting 24-year-old Javon Prather in March 2020.
The Springfield, Virginia, neighbors had been at odds for years. Hetle shot Prather seven times, claiming he thought Prather had a gun.
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Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said the murder was malicious and racially motivated.
“Mr. Prather served in the Maryland National Guard and had a bright future ahead of him,” Descano said in a statement. “He should be with his family and community today. While this outcome will not return him to his loved ones, my heart and thoughts are with the Prathers, and I hope this conviction brings them some small measure of peace.”
Hetle faces 20 years to life in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 20.