A years long dispute between neighbors over dog poop ended in violence with a 52-year-old NASA exec under arrest for murder.
Michael J. Hetle, of Springfield, Virginia, was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of his 24-year-old neighbor Javon Prather, also of Springfield.
Prather was shot around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday. A neighbor said he heard seven shots.
Hetle previously worked as a police officer with the Bellevue, Washington police department. He was involved in shooting deaths of an unarmed Latino man and a bank robbery suspect.
Hetle was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in both shootings. Hetle also worked for the Department of Homeland Security, according to NASA's website.
The victim's mother said her son and his next-door neighbor had fought bitterly for years.
Shabon Prather said her son and Hetle argued frequently over dog poop left outside. They also argued over loud music and friends coming and going at Prather's home.
"He's been giving my son and his wife problems for a very long tine," she said.
Prather, who worked as a manager at Giant Foods, served in the Maryland National Guard for six years. Shabon said her son had planned to reenlist and was "a good man."
But a neighbor said Prather was the aggressor who caused problems with his neighbor. Court records obtained by NBC Washington shows Prather had recent charges for assault and public intoxication.
"No one deserved to die like that," Shabon said. "I don't care what kind of disagreement you're having. No one should be shot in cold blood and die like that."