Clayton County

Woman accused of shooting, killing man after Clayton County hit-and-run goes to trial

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE: The trial has been postponed after the defendant’s attorney was found in contempt of court.

The woman accused of shooting and killing a man after a hit-and-run wreck is expected to go on trial on Monday.

Police said Hannah Payne shot and killed Kenneth Herring at the intersection of Forest Parkway and Riverdale Road in May 2019 after she saw him leaving the scene of a minor accident.

Prosecutors said Herring may have been having a medical episode at the time of the crash.

In a previous court appearance, prosecutors said Payne ignored the instructions of 911 dispatchers who told her to stay at the scene of the initial hit-and-run and not to engage the other driver.

“In the background, you can hear (Payne say), ‘Get out of the car. Get out of the car,’” Clayton police Detective Keon Hayward said in court at the time.

After the shooting, a witness recorded a video that appears to show Payne changing her clothes before police arrived.

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Payne’s attorney, Matt Tucker, argued that his client was provoked into further action when Herring’s truck hit her Jeep, but police said the two vehicles did not collide at any point during the incident.

Tucker also said his client claims self-defense in the shooting, saying Herring bruised her and ripped her shirt.

“It just seems like an unfortunate situation of a good Samaritan trying to stop a person on a hit-and-run,” he previously said.

Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson called Payne the aggressor, describing her as someone who thought she was a police officer during the incident.

“(Payne saying), ‘Get out of the car. Get out of the car,’ sounded like a cops show on TV,” Lawson said.

Payne was initially charged with murder without malice but was later indicted by a grand jury on charges of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

Jury selection in the case is expected to start Monday in Clayton County.

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