However, a grand jury this week indicted Payne on charges of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm during a felony, according to Channel 2. That means Payne will be arrested again and booked in the county jail, the news station reported.
Payne’s charges stem from the May 7 shooting death of 62-year-old Kenneth Herring.
During the evening commute, Payne decided to follow Herring’s pickup truck after she saw it hit another vehicle near Clark Howell Highway and Ga. 85, Clayton County police said at the time.
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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.
Payne allegedly shot Herring in the abdomen, killing him, detectives said.
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.
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“In the background, you can hear (Payne say), ‘Get out of the car. Get out of the car,’” Clayton police Detective Keon Hayward previously said in court.
After the shooting, a witness recorded a video that appears to show Payne changing her clothes before police arrived.
Channel 2 reported Payne screamed and cursed at Herring, who may have been in the throes of a medical episode.
Payne’s attorney, Matt Tucker, told Channel 2 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.
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, Channel 2 reported.
“(Payne saying), ‘Get out of the car. Get out of the car,’ sounded like a cops show on TV,” Lawson said.
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Tucker said Payne was trying to do the right thing.
“It's just seems like an unfortunate situation of a good Samaritan trying to stop a person on a hit and run,” he said.