Clayton County

21-year-old accused of killing man who allegedly hit her car, tried to leave scene

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A woman accused of shooting and killing a man after a crash was emotional during her first court appearance Wednesday.

Hannah Payne, 21, faces a charge of murder without malice.

Channel 2's Tom Jones was in the Clayton County courtroom when Payne appeared with her attorney, who said the woman exercised self-defense.

Payne had a pained look on her face when she heard about the charge.

Police said Payne noticed 62-year-old Kenneth Herring hit a car and leave the scene Tuesday evening.

Officers said Payne caught up with Herring at Riverdale Road and Forest Parkway and blocked him in with her car.

“It just seems like an unfortunate situation of a good Samaritan trying to stop a person on a hit-and-run,” attorney Matt Tucker said. Payne's attorney told Jones that Herring also hit Payne's car.

Tucker said she went to Herring's car with her gun to keep him from leaving again; however, police don't see it completely that way.

“An altercation then ensued between the two of them, and during the altercation Mr. Herring was shot and killed,” Maj. Anthony Thuman said.


Witness Nicole Jackson said she saw Payne fighting with Herring, telling him to get out of the car.

“All of a sudden you hear a ‘pow,’ and she got on her phone immediately and was like, ‘He pulled the trigger,’” Jackson said.

Police said Payne had called 911 before the shooting.

Herring's estranged wife said Payne should have waited for officers.

“Why would you get out? That means you weren't in no danger if you got out of your car to go to his car,” Christine Herring said.

She said Payne is a danger to the community.

“I think she needs to go to jail because she committed murder. You need to go to jail,” Herring said.

Payne's attorney said she is licensed to carry. He said his client told him the gun went off during the struggle.

Payne is being held without bond.

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