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Georgia Woman Charged in Fatal Shooting of Black Man After Hit-and-Run Faces New Indictments, Could be Headed Back to Jail



A Georgia woman accused of fatally shooting a man following a hit-and-run last month is facing new charges and could be headed back to the slammer, Atlanta station WSB-TV reports.

Hannah Payne, 22, was hit with additional felony charges Thursday in the death of Kenneth Herring court documents showed. A grand jury indicted Payne on charges including felony murder, malice murder, false imprisonment and aggravated assault.

Hannah Payne
Accused killer Hannah Payne, 21, was hit with additional charges this week and will be re-arrested. (WSB-TV / video screenshot)

The defendant is currently out on bond, however, the indictment means she’ll be rearrested on the new charges.

Herring’s widow, Christine Herring, rejoiced at the news.

“That is awesome. That’s all I got to say,” she told WSB-TV. “She was really, really wrong for what she did.”

Payne shot and killed Herring on May 7 after he left the scene of an accident in the Atlanta suburb of Clayton County. Payne was not involved in the wreck.

Prosecutors say the young woman ignored 911 dispatcher’s instructions to remain at the scene and instead followed Herring, boxed him in with her Jeep, walked over and shot him.

Drivers who witnessed the incident said they recalled seeing Payne yelling obscenities at the man and ordering him to “get out of the car.” At one point, witnesses said she attempted to drag Herring, who may have been suffering a medical emergency, out of the vehicle herself.

A scuffle ensued and Payne shot the man, though she told authorities Herring had “shot himself” with her gun.

A lawyer for the young woman insists his client acted in self-defense, and was simply trying to do the right thing. 

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

Prosecutors disagreed, saying it was clear that Payne was the aggressor.

“She’s using deadly force; she wasn’t faced with deadly force,” District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said at a May hearing. “You cannot claim self-defense and use deadly force unless you’re not the initial aggressor — she is.”

Payne was released on $100,000 bond late last month. With the new charges pending, she’ll be re-arrested and put in jail.

Christine Herring told WSB-TV she hopes this time the judge gives Payne a stiff bond “where she can’t get out. Where she cannot afford to get out. The numbers should be high as ever.”

According to the outlet, an arrest warrant has been signed but deputies haven’t served it yet.

Watch more in the video below.

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