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Mannford Police Chief Lucky Miller's lifeless body was discovered shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday inside his Hilton hotel room on Pensacola Beach in the Florida Panhandle, where the top cop and 49-year-old Det. Michael Patrick Nealey had been arguing, said Escambia County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amber Southard.
The pair had traveled from the small town to attend a law enforcement conference. Mannford, which is roughly 20 miles west of Tulsa, boasts a population of approximately 3,200 people.
Hotel employees were initially called to their hotel room, #527, for a noise complaint. When one of the workers, who is described in court papers as a maintenance man, arrived, "he knocked several times and only heard someone making a grunting noise," records state.
"At that point, [he] entered the hotel room ... and observed [Nealey] sitting on top of [Miller], who was laying on the floor," the court papers further show. The hotel worker then pulled Nealey off the police chief and called the police.
When cops arrived, Nealey was found to be lying on the floor of the hotel room and mumbling unintelligibly "a short distance away" from Miller, 49, who was unconscious and had no pulse, according to court documents.
A hotel guest told police "he heard a commotion coming from Room #527. [He] heard someone making a 'roaring' noise and then heard a male yelling 'Stop it, Mike.' several times," records show.
"The male yelling 'Stop it, Mike,' started out lout and then grew quieter before stopping altogether.'"
Miller's cause of death was not immediately clear and no weapon was found at the scene. His "face was beaten, his right eye was completely swollen, but there were no other apparent injuries to his body," court papers show.
Nealey was taken to an area hospital for injuries to his lip and nose, which authorities believe he suffered when he was pulled away from Miller. His right hand was also swollen and red.
The detective – who was allegedly unable to provide information about what has happened – was charged on Monday morning with second-degree homicide.
He was being held without bond at the Escambia County Jail, public records show, and is due to appear in court on Dec. 5.
Miller, a married father of three, had been police chief since 2007.
"We are heartbroken by the news," Mannford Mayor Tyler Buttram said in a Monday press release. In a separate interview, he described the men as "the best of friends."
"That's what makes everything so hard. We can't even wrap our heads around this," Buttram said. "The city's just stunned. The police department's stunned. Nothing makes sense, nothing adds up."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.