A small-town Oklahoma policeman was charged with killing his chief after what authorities described as an alcohol-fueled brawl in a Florida Panhandle hotel room.
The two men had been staying at the Hilton on Pensacola Beach over the weekend for a law enforcement conference, said Escambia County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amber Southard.
At some point on Sunday evening, hotel security was called because the two men were being disruptive, Southland said. Then, early Sunday morning, hotel staff called the sheriff’s department because the men were fighting.
“An actual physical altercation,” she said.
When deputies arrived, they found Chief Lucky Miller dead, she said, and there was no weapon. She added that alcohol was involved and that an autopsy is underway.
Michael Patrick Nealey, 49, was arrested Monday morning and charged with killing Miller, according to records.
Miller was the police chief in Mannford, Oklahoma, a small town about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Tulsa. It has a population of about 3,200.
Nealey was being held without bond at the Escambia County Jail. He’s charged with homicide. No additional details were immediately available.
A lawyer for Nealey isn’t listed on jail records.
Miller, 44, had been police chief since 2007. He and his wife had three children.
“We are heartbroken by the news,” Mayor Tyler Buttram said in the statement. “Please keep both families in your prayers as we work to move forward.”
The town administrator has been appointed interim police chief.
The conference was to be held Monday to Wednesday at the hotel, but it’s unclear if it is still scheduled. An email to the organization wasn’t immediately returned.