CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Key witnesses for the prosecution took the stand for the third day in the murder trial of Hannah Payne. Payne is accused of following, crashing into, scuffling with, then shooting and killing 62-year-old Kenneth Herring in 2019 after she witnessed him collide with another vehicle.
Cameron Williams, a truck driver, captured images of the encounter between Payne and Herring along Riverdale Road.
"I just seen her outside hitting on her window, or his car door. And that’s what made me just grab my phone," Williams recalled, adding that Payne was standing at the driver’s side door. "Yelling, hitting on the window, hitting on the door."
Images pulled from witness video shows the tussle between Hannah Payne and Kenneth Herring along Riverdale Road in Clayton County which was introduced in the murder trial on Dec. 8, 2023. (Supplied)
He described there was some pushing back and forth with Herring still in the vehicle. That’s when he pulled out his phone to record the incident as he moved past. When he heard the gunshot, Williams said he stopped.
Something caught by Williams’ recording was Payne holding a gun just outside of Herring’s truck.
Prosecutors also called to the stand a Clayton County police detective who went over the items found in Herring’s truck. One of those items, jurors later spotted in a police body camera video entered into evidence, were needles.
An image of Hannah Payne with a gun standing outside the pickup truck of Kenneth Herring was entered into evidence for the 2019 murder in a Clayton County courtroom on Dec. 8, 2023. (Supplied)
Evidence of injuries Payne said she received during the tussle was also introduced.
The first officer on the scene later would also take the stand to describe what happened in the moments after he arrived.
"Who got shot? Who shot him?" the officer could be heard asking several bystanders on body camera videos.
An image showing Hannah Payne’s Jeep crashed into Kenneth Herring pickup truck was entered into evidence in a Clayton County courtroom as part of the murder trial on Dec. 8, 2023 (Supplied)
The video then shows him approaching Payne, who was on the phone, who casually held out the gun for him to secure.
His attention then turned to the pickup truck and Herring, who was slumped over toward the passenger seat. Eventually, medics arrive to take him to the hospital.
Court will resume at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
Hannah Payne charged with the murder of Kenneth Herring
On the other side, the defense says Payne acted in self-defense.
Thursday, jurors got to hear the two 911 calls. that Payne made during the incident.
In one recording, the dispatcher asked, "OK, so you couldn’t get a tag number?" Payne responded, "No, but I’m catching up to him right now." The dispatcher responded, "OK, ma’am we actually do not want you to chase him, we just want you to be safe."
That is a portion of one of the 911 calls that prosecutors say shows Payne crossing the line when she tried to stop Herring after he left the scene of the crash in 2019.
Prosecutors say Herring was not drunk, but instead was having a medical issue. According to the call, Payne eventually gets a tag number, but she continues to follow Herring anyway despite the dispatcher repeatedly telling her to stop. Prosecutors say Payne did not just follow Herring, she cut him off, got into an argument and shot him.
Payne’s attorney says she was told to get the tag number by the Georgia Correctional Officer who took the stand Wednesday. The defense says Herring attacked her and the shooting was in self-defense. Her attorney Matt Tucker says there is a possibility she will tell the jury that herself.
Payne is charged with two counts of felony murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and three charges of weapons possession during a crime.