Hannah Payne (left) faces a murder charge after shooting and killing Kenneth Herring in traffic earlier this month, Clayton County police said.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Bond granted for woman accused of intervening in hit-and-run, fatally shooting driver

A Fayetteville woman who faces a murder charge after intervening in a hit-and-run crash in Clayton County earlier this month was given a $100,000 bond Friday morning, the Clayton district attorney said. 

Hannah Payne, 21, is accused of following a pickup truck she saw hit a tractor-trailer near Clark Howell Highway and Ga. 85 on May 7 and fatally shooting the driver.


Payne apparently called 911 before following the truck about a mile to the intersection of Riverdale Road and Forest Parkway, where she blocked the driver in with her Jeep and got out to confront the man with her gun in hand, police said. 

An altercation ensued and Payne shot 62-year-old Kenneth Herring in the abdomen, killing him, detectives said. 

RELATED: Woman intervenes in hit-and-run, fatally shoots driver, police say

It was revealed in court this week that Payne allegedly 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. 
MORE: Murder suspect who intervened in hit-and-run allegedly ignored 911 operator

“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.

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

Payne’s attorney, Matt Tucker, told Channel 2 Action News his client was provoked to further action when Herring’s truck hit her Jeep, but police said the two vehicles did not collide at any point during the incident.

He also argued his client fired in self-defense after Herring bruised her and ripped her shirt.

But Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson called Payne the aggressor in court, describing her as someone who thought she was a police officer during the incident, Channel 2 reported. 

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

RELATED: Racist robocall defends murder suspect who intervened in hit-and-run

Payne’s supporters applauded inside the courtroom when the judge ruled she was not a threat or a flight risk and granted bond. But Herring’s family said Payne took a life and should remain behind bars. 

“She shouldn’t have got a bond,” Herring’s wife said outside the courthouse. “I know that.”

Payne was still in custody as of Friday afternoon, Clayton jail records showed. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.