Clayton County

Witness describes moments before police say woman shot and killed an accused hit-and-run driver

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A witness in the trial of a woman accused of killing a hit-and-run driver says the victim looked her in the eye after he was shot.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones was in Clayton County where a witness told the jury the defendant repeatedly punched the victim before shooting him.

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Shakonda Rosser also testified Hannah Payne repeatedly punched Kenneth Herring before opening fire.

She got emotional when she told the jury what she was thinking right before Herring was shot.

“All I kept saying to myself is I hope she (doesn’t) shoot him. When I heard the gunshot, he looked at me,” Rosser described.

Rosser said she was shocked when she saw Payne shot and killed 62-year-old Kenneth Herring.

Rosser testified after Payne shot Herring, he looked her in the eye from inside his truck.

“He was looking at me and I looked at him and he just looked shocked. He just looked shocked,” Rosser said from the witness stand.

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Prosecutors say this all began when Payne saw Herring ran a red light, crash into a tractor-trailer, and left the scene back in May 2019. They say Payne followed Herring, even though 911 told her not to.

Rosser says she saw Payne get out of her Jeep and approach Herring’s driver-side window on Riverdale Road and Forest Parkway. She said Payne was irate and began punching Herring.

“Looks like the chest was taking the hits. I mean she was just wailing,” she pointed out.

Defense attorney Matt Tucker said Herring had no bruises on his chest. He says Payne is the one who was injured from Herring attacking her.

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As for Rosser saying Herring looked her in the eye, Tucker says she was too far away for that to happen.

“That was nowhere near an account of what happened, where it happened, or what could have happened,” he said.

Another witness also testified Payne was aggressive and reached into Herring’s truck and began punching him.

“I heard her say get the [expletive] out of the car. She just kept cussing at him,” Teauna Mcranny testified.

Tucker said her testimony was different than the statement she gave to police.

Payne faces life without parole. Testimony picks back up Friday morning.

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