Former police officer kills neighbor, National Guard soldier over dog poop in lawn


A former police officer who works as a NASA executive in Maryland reportedly shot his Army National Guard neighbor over dog waste in the yard.

Michael Hetle, of Springfield, opened fire on SPC Javon Prather on Tuesday afternoon, fatally injuring the Guardsman.

Law enforcement arrived on the scene to treat Prather, but could not revive him. Shortly afterwards, Hetle was taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder.

Hetle, an associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, was also an officer in the Bellevue Police Department.

During his time with BPD, Hetle was involved in two fatal officer-involved shootings, in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

The 2000 shooting involved an armed bank robbery suspect, and the 2001 officer-involved shooting involved an unarmed man. 

According to the Washington Post, Hetle was cleared of any wrongdoing in both cases, but resigned in 2003.

After Hetle was taken in for killing Prather, the Guardsman’s mother claimed the argument over dog waste left in the yard.

“He’s been giving my son and his wife problems for a very long time,” said Shavon Prather.

A member of the 175th Infantry Regiment of the Maryland Army National Guard, Prather’s death was publicly announced by Governor Larry Hogan.

“We’re deeply saddened by the passing of Specialist Javon Prather, a member of the 175th Infantry Regiment of the Maryland National Guard,” he tweeted. “The First Lady and I ask all Marylanders to join us in sending our heartfelt prayers to Javon’s family, friends, & to all those who loved him.”

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