Pubdate: Sat, 24 Jan 2009
Source: Albany Herald, The (GA)
Copyright: 2009 The Albany Herald Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Susan McCord


Clayton Lewis was shot eight times during a struggle in a moving
vehicle with drug agent Mark Farley, authorities say.

ALBANY -- Clayton L. Lewis, the drug suspect fatally wounded Tuesday
by Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit agent Mark Farley, did not shoot
Farley, ADDU officials confirmed Friday.

"Officer Farley's wound appears to have come from his own weapon as
he and Lewis struggled, with Farley's arm around (Lewis') neck,"
Dougherty Police Chief Don Cheek stated at a Friday news conference.

"Eleven spent hulls from Officer Farley's weapon are recovered from
the vehicle," Cheek said. "Autopsy results reveal Lewis is hit eight

Cheek, chairman of the inter-agency drug unit's review board, was
reading from a synopsis provided by the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation at the news conference, which followed a closed-door
meeting of the ADDU board.

The GBI's preliminary assessment of the events that led to Lewis'
death revealed that, responding to "numerous" tips about his
drug-dealing activity at the Dollar Inn on North Slappey Boulevard,
Farley pulled Lewis' black Chrysler 300 over near the eastbound
Liberty Expressway on-ramp at Slappey, Cheek stated.

Farley "gets Lewis' ID, while a second ADDU agent arrives and gets
the white male, later identified as Michael Kielbania, out of the
vehicle," said Cheek, who previously stated that Kielbania, a
passenger in the Chrysler, had fled.

Asked to get out of the car, Lewis, whose street name was "Ian,"
refused, and "as officers reach in to get keys, a struggle ensued.
Farley gets in the back seat to help, and as he enters, Lewis gets
the vehicle in drive and rapidly pulls away, running over Officer
(Vy)  Chu's foot. The video in the ADDU vehicle confirms this," he

As Lewis pulled up the ramp onto Liberty Expressway, "with
Farley having his arm around Lewis' neck from the back seat and telling him
to stop, Lewis pulls a .45-caliber hi-point automatic (pistol) from
the console between the seats," Cheek continued.

"Farley fires a series of shots, then Lewis attempts to bring the
weapon back up. Farley fires a second series," he said.

With Lewis no longer in control of the vehicle, Farley steered it
from the back seat into a guard rail on Liberty, then a responding
ADDU vehicle wedged it in, bringing the Chrysler to a stop, he said.

Lewis' weapon, which showed "no indication" of being fired, was
recovered from the median, "where apparently Lewis dropped it out, or
intentionally threw it out, during the incident," Cheek said.

Cheek did not say whether or not the gun was loaded, but a loaded
clip of ammunition was found in the Chrysler's console, where the gun
had been, he said. No narcotics were found in the vehicle, he said.

The gun was recovered approximately a half-mile from where the
Chrysler came to rest near the Jefferson Street exit on Liberty
Expressway, Cheek said. The distance between the Slappey and
Jefferson exits is about 1.5 miles.

The Albany Herald filed an open records request to view surveillance
video filmed by Lewis' on-board video camera. Cheek said ADDU did not
have the tape.

"This is the first indication of what actually appeared on the tape,
and that's from the GBI's examination," he said. "It's still in their
custody, and we have not seen it."

When Lewis drove away, Farley's vehicle was unoccupied, and once
another agent got in the car and caught up with the Chrysler, the
chase was nearly over, he said.

The video "does not show that vehicle coming back into sight until it
was in proximity of the Jefferson Street overpass," Cheek said.

Kielbania, contacted the Herald Friday from the Dollar Inn, stated in
a voice mail that he had not fled was was previously reported and
that the statement needed to be corrected before "it gets me killed."

"The GBI interviewed (Kielbania) and released him without any
charges," Cheek said.

The GBI is awaiting toxicology findings and an official autopsy
report, which may take several months, but expects to have a
completed report for the District Attorney's office in about two
weeks, Cheek said.

"In my opinion, the officers handled themselves as well as they
possibly could be expected through training," he added. The officers
were "professional" and "followed protocols," he said.

District Attorney Greg Edwards said he plans to consult with Georgia
Attorney General Thurbert Baker about bringing in an independent
prosecutor to review the report because he serves on the ADDU review
board and  the Dougherty Judicial Circuit had pending charges against

Andy Exum, ADDU captain who is serving as the agency's interim
commander, said Farley and Chu were recovering from their injuries.

Chu sustained bruising on his foot, and has returned to work on
administrative duties until the ADDU board clears him to return to
work, while Farley continues to receive medical care for his gunshot
would and has not yet returned to work, Exum said.

"All the officers involved suffered a traumatic experience," he said.
"People tend to forget that they're human, too."

ADDU, which is starting its 20th year, is an inter-agency unit
staffed with 12 Albany Police Department officers, six Dougherty
Police officers and six officers from the Dougherty Sheriff's Office.

Farley, a sheriff's deputy, had been with ADDU for about a year, Exum

"I fully expect Mark to come back," he said. "He's a good officer, an
honest person and I think he will."
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