He was a jokester, a snazzy dresser and a had personality that drew others to him. Trooper First Class Chase Winston Redner had his own saying for letting others know everything would be OK.

“It’ll buff,” Redner would say.

One by one, those who knew Redner best shared stories and memories during his funeral Tuesday. Redner was killed in the line of duty Feb. 20 while investigating a deadly crash along I-75 in Clayton County, according to the Georgia State Patrol. He was 31.

“He died doing something he loved,” Linda Stancil-Redner told Gov. Brian Kemp after her son’s death. “Not many people get to do that.”

For Kemp, it was the second time this month speaking at funerals for troopers. On Feb. 9, he spoke at the funeral for Trooper Jimmy Cenescar. Prior to the deaths of the two troopers, the state patrol hadn’t lost two members in such a close time period in decades, Kemp said.

“Today is another day of sadness and mourning for all Georgians,” he said. “Please know that we are grateful state for Chase’s service and sacrifice.”

Other troopers and officers from various law enforcement agencies filled Canton First Baptist Church for the service. Redner was the fourth Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year. His mother and fiancée were among those that spoke during the service.

“He loved both of them with all of his heart and he made it known,” fellow Trooper James Burnett said.

Burnett attended trooper school with Redner, who said loved to create nicknames for others to accompany silly photos he took of them. Redner’s cellphone included those nicknames and photos.

“There was never a dull moment when Chase was around,” Burnett said.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Chase Redner was killed while investigating a fatal crash on I-75 North in Clayton County just after midnight Feb. 20.

Credit: Georgia State Patrol

icon to expand image

Credit: Georgia State Patrol

It was “a servant’s heart” that led Redner to become a trooper, according to his family. First, Redner completed a degree in criminal justice at the University of North Georgia. He served as intern for former state Rep. Doug Collins. Then he became a trooper, serving not only his state but also other troopers as an instructor.

“He was a blessing to those who came in contact with him,” Collins said Tuesday, appearing by video.

Redner was proud to become a trooper and serve his state, Colonel William “Billy” Hitchens said during the service.

“He led by example, exceeded expectation and served his community with distinction,” Hitchens said.

Outside of work, Redner loved hosting get-togethers and wanted to make sure those attending had a good time, Hitchens said. Redner loved video games and sports, including the Atlanta United soccer team. He loved adventures, but was also fine at home with his fiancée, Leah Owens, and two cats, Winston and Churchill.

After 12 years together, Redner had proposed earlier this month to Owens while the two hiked in Ellijay.

The two planned a family together. But through his death, Owens said she had learned Redner had a band of brothers despite being an only child. She thanked everyone for their support to both her and Redner’s mother during the days since his death.

“And Chase, as we always said, I love you to infinity and beyond,” Owens said.


Four Georgia law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty during the first eight weeks of 2024.

Feb. 20: Trooper First Class Chase Redner was fatally struck by a vehicle while he was investigating a crash that left a construction worker dead on I-75 in Clayton County. Redner, 31, died from his injuries. He is survived by his mother and fiancée.

Feb. 6: A Crawford County sheriff’s deputy died after being involved in a two-vehicle wreck while on duty. Timothy Tavarus Rivers, 40, was responding to assist another officer when his patrol vehicle crossed into the opposite travel lane on Marshall Mill Road, about 20 miles southwest of Macon, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Jan. 28: Trooper Jimmy Cenescar with the Georgia State Patrol died in a crash while attempting to stop a motorcyclist in Gwinnett County, according to investigators. He was 28. Cenescar lost control of his Dodge Charger, which struck a guardrail, hit a DOT sign, traveled down an embankment and hit multiple trees and large draining rocks before striking a retaining wall.

Jan. 4: Deputy Eric Minix with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office died after being hit by an Alabama police officer’s patrol car as he stepped out of his own vehicle at the end of a chase, according to investigators. The deputy had been involved in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle on I-85 that extended into Chambers County, Alabama. Minix, 31, is survived by his wife and three children.