Mannford, OK, Police Chief Lucky Miller and Mannford PD Detective Michael Nealey—who is now facing second-degree murder charges in the killing of his chief—were the best of friends, both on the force and off,” Mannford Mayor Tyler Buttram told The Washington Post.
Nealey, 49, was arrested in the Florida early Monday and charged with killing the 44-year-old chief in what police allege was an alcohol-fueled hotel room fight over the weekend. Miller and Nealey were in Florida for a law enforcement conference.
Sgt. Melony Peterson told The Post Nealey had not given any statements to investigators and remains in jail without bond. Records did not indicate whether Nealey has an attorney.
While it is unclear what prompted the deadly fight, Peterson said both men had been drinking beforehand. Hotel security received reports early Sunday evening that Miller and Nealey were being disruptive, according to the Tulsa World. Then, police were called to the hotel around 9:50 p.m., Peterson said.
“It was a physical altercation and that’s how he died,” she said of Miller, noting that no weapon was found in the room. Peterson declined to comment on the extent of Miller’s injuries.
Escambia County Sheriff's Office told NewsOn6 that a maintenance man found Miller's body after being called to the hotel room for a noise complaint. Two people staying in nearby rooms complained of hearing loud noises coming from the room where the two men were found, the report said.
One witness reported to deputies that he heard a "roaring" noise and a man yelling, "Stop it, Mike." The arrest report says that phrase started out loud "then grew quieter before stopping altogether."
When the maintenance man arrived, deputies said he found Mike Nealey sitting on top of Miller, who was lying on the floor. The maintenance man said he pulled Nealey off Miller, the arrest report stated.
When first-responders arrived, Miller was unresponsive. His face was swollen and beaten, deputies reported.
The arrest report stated Nealey's right hand was swollen and red. He had some injuries to his nose and lip, which reportedly happened when the maintenance man pulled him off the police chief.
Miller had led the police department since 2007 and Nealey joined the force in 2015. The mayor told The Post that both men were well liked by the city’s residents and described them as “outstanding police officers.”
Nealey is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 5, according to jail records.