Court Delivers Verdict in Case of Vigilante Who Killed a Man

Atlanta, Georgia- A woman has been found guilty of murder after chasing down and shooting an elderly black man who left the scene of a minor car crash. Hannah Payne pursued Kenneth Herring in her vehicle, acting like a police officer, after witnessing him hit a truck in May of 2019. Payne, who was not involved in the accident, cut Herring off, physically assaulted him, and fatally shot him on a busy highway.

On Monday, Payne took the stand, claiming she never meant for her handgun to fire a bullet and alleged that Herring shot himself during a struggle for the weapon. However, witnesses and recordings presented during the trial contradicted her testimony, demonstrating that Payne intentionally chased and physically confronted the 62-year-old unarmed man.

Payne, 21 years old at the time of the incident, had attempted to stop Herring from leaving the crash scene. Despite instructions from a 911 dispatcher to remain at the scene, Payne followed Herring’s vehicle. In a recorded call, she repeatedly yells at him to get out of the car. Witnesses state that she punched him in the face three times. Eventually, she shot Herring, claiming self-defense even though she was the initial aggressor.

The jury deliberated for only 90 minutes before finding Payne guilty on charges of felony murder, possession of a weapon during a crime, malice murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and other related offenses. Paye has been found guilty of all eight counts and is now scheduled to be sentenced on December 15.

Christine Herring, Kenneth Herring’s wife, spoke out against the killing, describing it as an act of vigilantism with racial undertones. She asserted that her husband was experiencing a medical emergency and was attempting to reach the hospital. She said she was positive her husband was having a diabetic episode. Christine questioned why Payne followed him, blocked his path, and ultimately killed him, in contrast to the dispatcher’s instructions.

The tragic incident echoes past cases, such as the killing of Trayvon Martin, where individuals take the law into their own hands, exerting authority that goes beyond their role. The sentencing of Hannah Payne on December 15 will determine the consequences she will face for her actions.