By Ed Brock
Georgia State Trooper Tony M. Lumley left a good impression on his fellow troopers.
"He was very friendly, very professional, sharp in uniform," Trooper First Class Larry Schnall said.
Schnall said that's the kind of thing often said about people who, like Lumley, give their lives in the line of duty, but he was completely sincere in his praise.
Lumley, 36, was fatally injured in an accident that occurred Monday night while he was pursuing 26-year-old Kenneth Bradley Medlock of Newnan in a chase that started in Clayton County and ended up in Spalding County. Medlock was a suspect in a Clayton County robbery and on Wednesday he made his first appearance in Magistrate Court.
Medlock is already charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault and felony fleeing in Clayton County and the Georgia State Patrol and the district attorney's office in Spalding County is expected to seek more charges.
Appearing calm and dressed in the red jumpsuit given to inmates at the jail who are considered to be security risks, Medlock requested a court-appointed attorney. He told Magistrate Court Chief Judge Michael Baird that he worked for Direct TV.
"Is it reasonable to believe you won't be holding that job after this?" Baird asked him.
"Yes," Medlock answered.
Medlock's preliminary hearing will be at 8 a.m. on Dec. 11.
Police say Medlock assaulted and robbed four men who had met around 9:20 p.m. in a parking lot on Upper Riverdale Road for the sale of one man's car. After driving off with the men's money, the men chased Medley for some distance until Medley, armed with a rifle and handgun, shot at them, causing two wrecks, according to police reports.
Clayton County police joined the pursuit that went down Tara Boulevard into Henry County and then Spalding County. Lumley, the only trooper involved in the chase, made contact with Medley's pickup truck on Ga. Highway 16 and both cars went off the road, Lumley's turning end over end. He died Tuesday from the injuries he suffered in the accident.
While he had been with the GSP for two years, Lumley spent the first year in training and had been on the road for about a year, Schnall said. He lived in The Rock in Upson County and was a member of the Hollonville Baptist Church and the Montgomery Masonic Lodge No. 31 in Zebulon.
He was married to Misty Lumley and they had two daughters, Nikki and Brooke. On Friday the girls, their mother and Lumley's colleagues will bury him in Moody Memorial Gardens in Zebulon after an 11 a.m. service at the Griffin First Assembly of God Church.
Later Lumley's name will be added to the plaque in the lobby of GSP headquarters in Atlanta that bears the names of other Georgia troopers who died in the line of duty.
He was stationed at the GSP post in Forest Park for a while before transferring to the post in Griffin.
In lieu of flowers contributions for his children can be made to the Tony Lumley Trust Fund at United Bank branches in Barnesville, Zebulon and Griffin. The account number is 4070777.
Besides his wife and daughters, Lumley is survived by his parents, William and Sara Lumley of The Rock, a brother Tim Lumley of The Rock, sister, Kimberly Smith of Augusta, sister-in-law Christy Silver of Concord and several nieces and nephews. He was a graduate of Pike County High School.
His family will receive friends from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the Conner-Westbury Funeral Home, 1891 W. McIntosh Road in Griffin.