Hannah Payne, a white, 22-year-old Georgia woman, is facing new felony charges in the cold-blooded murder of 62-year-old Kenneth Herring, who was Black, in Clayton County, Georgia. A grand jury added new charges to her existing indictment on June 20. Payne is now being charged with felony murder, malice murder, false imprisonment and aggravated assault in connection to the May 7 killing of the elderly man who had diabetes.
In early May, Payne witnessed a car accident involving Herring’s car and another vehicle, police said. Kenneth Herring attempted to flee the scene. Hannah Payne chose to pursue him after ignoring the advice of the 9-1-1 dispatcher to remain at the scene of the accident. Payne decided that she was the judge, jury, and executioner, literally. After the pursuit, she blocked Herring’s vehicle with hers. An altercation ensued, which ended with Hannah Payne shooting Herring in the stomach.
According to Clayton County Police Major Anthony Thuman, the hit-and-run crash didn’t cause any significant damage or injuries damage. He also confirmed that Hannah Payne was licensed to carry a concealed weapon but was not directly involved in the accident.
Payne was initially charged with murder without malice in Kenneth Herring’s shooting death and was released on a $100,000 bond. However, she was rearrested on Friday after witness accounts of her acting aggressively and assaulting Herring were disclosed.
Her attorney, Matt Tucker, painted her as a “Good Samaritan” and stated Payne was not a murderer. He also explained that Payne was “truly upset” by the ordeal and felt that she should not be in jail because she is a “good person” who shot Herring in self-defense.
“She didn’t go out there trying to kill the person,” he claimed.
The hard, cold fact is, she did murder someone. Although it’s not being said, Herring’s murder appears to be racially motivated. If the driver had been an elderly white man, she would not have chased him down like a dog, confronted him, nor would she have shot him.
Drivers who witnessed the fatal shooting said they saw Payne “punching” Herring, who appeared to be in medical distress, and yelling at him to “get out of the f—–g car!”
That does not sound like the behavior of a woman who meant well.
Payne’s family and friends don’t agree with the picture being painted of their “beloved” family member and are dismissing the notion that Kenneth Herring’s murder makes her a racist. Hannah Payne has a Black best friend, so of course, she couldn’t be racist.
Payne’s mother, Margaret Payne, described her daughter, as the “sweetest, most caring” person who “doesn’t see color” or race.
Herring’s widow, Christine Herring, would not agree with that statement.