Hannah Payne is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in Clayton County Superior Court on Monday, April 18. Payne is charged with malice murder in Kenneth Herring's 2019 shooting. The Clayton County NAACP is demanding the case go to trial.
The NAACP Clayton County Branch is mounting a social media campaign to bring attention to the shooting death of Kenneth Herring and the time that has passed since the suspect, Hannah Payne, has been charged in the case. A calendar call, usually the last step before a jury trial, is scheduled for Monday, April 18 at 9 a.m. in Room 406 of the Harold Banke Justice Center. Superior Court Judge Shana Rooks Malone is presiding.
Payne is charged with shooting Herring, 62, on May 7, 2019 after seeing him get into a fender-bender, then leave the scene. Clayton County first responders, police, and Herring’s family say he was having a diabetic episode at the time and that he apparently was trying to drive himself to Southern Regional Medical Center.
Matt Tucker, Payne’s defense attorney, told The Clayton Crescent a Department of Corrections officer allegedly directed Payne to follow Herring and get his tag number. He also said that previously-released 911 audio did not include the full incident, and that he will present evidence that shows Payne is not guilty. If a jury finds otherwise, she could get life in prison.
NAACP Clayton Branch President Synamon Baldwin issued a press release late Friday, calling on supporters “to contact Clayton County local officials and demand a trial date for Kenneth Herring.” The group issued this statement:
The Clayton County NAACP is gravely concerned about the lack of urgency from local authorities in the Kenneth Herring case. Therefore, we as a community are calling for the expeditious resolution of this case, and are hopeful that the tides of justice will be fair, swift, and equitable. We will continue to support the Herring family in receiving justice and accountability.
Payne has been out on bond for most of the time since she was charged. Malone has repeatedly refused Payne’s requests to remove her ankle monitor and end her 9 p.m. curfew, both of which are conditions of Payne’s bond.
A statewide judicial order shut down the court system for several months during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.