CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Handcuffed and sobbing into a tissue Tuesday, Hannah Payne reacted to a Clayton County detective’s account of what became a deadly driver encounter at a busy intersection.
Investigators say the 21-year-old went too far when she followed a truck involved in a fender bender, blocking Kenneth Herring in on the side of Riverdale Road. She confronted the 62-year-old driver while connected to a 911 emergency operator.
“In the background, you can hear Payne yelling: ‘Get out of the truck! Get the f*@# out of the truck! Then there is silence, and she gets back on the phone and says, ‘He shot himself with my gun,’” Clayton County Detective Keon Hayward told the court.
Herring didn’t survive the bullet wound to his stomach. During Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, defense attorneys maintained the gunfire was a result of a scuffle, where Payne’s shirt was ripped, her chest and face clawed.
Defense attorney Matt Tucker told the court that the May 7 incident was a case of citizens’ arrest. He asked the judge to dismiss the felony murder charge.
Prosecutors argued that what she did was false imprisonment. The judge found probable cause. The case will move forward, much to Herring’s widow’s satisfaction:
“Her crying is an act to me. I wouldn’t want to go to prison. I’d be crying also,” Christine Herring told FOX 5 outside the courtroom.
Payne will be back in court Friday for a bond hearing.