In a case that conjures up portions of the George Zimmerman case, a woman who faces murder charges after police say she fatally shot a 62-year-old driver in the stomach after confronting him following a hit-and-run has been given a $100,000 bond.
Hannah Payne, 21, of Fayetteville, Ga., is accused of ignoring 911 dispatchers’ directives to stand down (sound like a familiar scenario?) and instead chased down Kenneth Herring after she allegedly witnessed Herring hit a tractor-trailer with his pickup truck and then drive away May 7, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
As the AJC explains:
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.
An altercation ensued and Payne shot 62-year-old Kenneth Herring in the abdomen, killing him, detectives said.
It was revealed in court this week that Payne allegedly 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.
Payne’s lawyer argues that Herring provoked her by hitting her Jeep with his truck when she confronted him and that he also ripped her shirt and caused her a bruise.
But police said there’s no evidence Herring hit Payne’s Jeep. Prosecutors said Payne acted like she thought she was some kind of police officer.
Referencing 911 audio in which authorities said Payne could be heard ordering Herring to get out of his vehicle, prosecutor Tracy Graham Lawson said:
“[Payne saying], ‘Get out of the car. Get out of the car,’ sounded like a cops show on TV,” Lawson said, the AJC reports.
The case has generated some comparisons to George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin as the teen was walking home from the store in 2012.
Transcripts from a 911 call Zimmerman made the night of the fatal encounter demonstrated that he, too, ignored directives; in this case, to not follow Trayvon.
According to CBS 46, activists from the National Justice Action Center have referred to Payne as the female Zimmerman, while on the other side, a white supremacist group, Road to Power, made racist robocalls saying Payne is no criminal.
Either way, sadly, like Trayvon, Kenneth Herring is dead.