Georgia woman accused of shooting, killing driver after hit-and-run

Georgia News

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. (CNN/WSB) – A Georgia woman is facing murder charges for reportedly trying to take the law into her own hands after a hit-and-run.

Police say Hannah Payne went after Kenneth Herring, who reportedly fled a crash scene in Clayton County.

But the confrontation ended on a tragic note.

“I think she needs to go to jail because you committed murder,” said Herring’s widow, Christine. “You need to go to jail.”

The 21-year-old Atlanta-area woman who witnessed the incident is accused of taking matters into her own hands and has been charged with his murder.

Clayton County Police say on May 7, Payne followed Herring for about a mile in an effort to get him to return to the crash scene.

Authorities say Payne approached Herring’s vehicle, cutting him off and forcing him to stop.

A struggle ensued and a weapon was discharged leaving Herring with a fatal wound to his abdomen.

“Based on the facts and circumstances that come out during the investigation this morning to murder charge,” said Clayton County Police Major Anthony Thuman. He added that Payne called 911 before the shooting occurred.

Authorities haven’t given more details about that 911 call and aren’t releasing the audio because of the ongoing investigation. But they say Payne is licensed to carry a weapon and approached Herring’s car carrying her gun.

“We recommend that people stay in the car and let the officers responding handle the situation,” Thuman said.

Meanwhile, Payne’s lawyer says she was trying to do the right thing.

“It just seems like it’s an unfortunate situation of a Good Samaritan trying to stop a person on a hit and run,” attorney Matt Tucker said.

Herring’s wife says Payne could have taken a picture of his license plate instead of having pursued him. She says Herring didn’t deserve to be killed in the street.

The investigation is ongoing. Payne’s preliminary court hearing is set for May 28.

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