Hero Down: Mannford Police Chief Lucky Miller Killed By One Of His Officers

Holly Matkin

Mannford Police Chief Lucky Miller had been serving as the agency's top cop since 2007.

Pensacola, FL – Mannford Police Department (MPD) Chief Lucky Miller was killed on Sunday while attending a death scene investigation conference with his longtime friend and coworker.

Chief Miller, 44, and Mannford Police Detective Michael Patrick Nealey, 49, traveled together from Oklahoma to the conference, which was being held at the Hilton hotel on Pensacola Beach, WEAR reported.

The men were sharing a room at the same location.

At approximately 9:50 p.m. on Sunday night, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ESCO) received a report of a disturbance at the hotel, WEAR reported.

A hotel employee later told investigators that he went to the men’s room after the hotel received complaints about loud noises and yelling coming from the room.

One witness said the men were yelling and laughing for hours, causing such a disruption that the complainant requested a room change, WEAR reported.

Another witness said they heard a “roaring” noise, before someone repeatedly started to yell “stop it, Mike,” according to a police report.

The yelling gradually diminished, then stopped altogether, the witness said.

The hotel employee said he could hear a “grunting” noise coming from the room when he went to investigate the complaints, WEAR reported.

When he entered the room, he spotted Chief Miller lying on the floor. Det. Nealey was sitting on top of him, the employee said.

The hotel worker yanked the detective off of Chief Miller, at which point Det. Nealey’s face slammed into the floor, causing injuries to his lip and nose, according to police.

When ECSO deputies arrived at the scene, Chief Miller was unresponsive and did not have a pulse, WEAR reported.

They found Det. Nealey “mumbling” incoherently nearby, according to the police report.

His hand was red and swollen, but he had no other significant injuries.

Chief Miller suffered extensive injuries to his face from being beaten, police said.

One of his eyes was swelled completely, according to investigators.

ECSO spokesperson Sergeant Melony Peterson said that both men had been consuming alcohol prior to the altercation, The Washington Post reported.

There were no weapons found inside the room, Sgt. Peterson said.

“It was a physical altercation,” she told The Washington Post. “That’s how he died.”

Det. Nealey was booked into the Escambia County Jail, where he is being held without bond on a charge of second-degree murder, KOKI reported.

According to Sgt. Peterson, Det. Nealey has not provided any statements to investigators since his arrest, according to The Washington Post.

The events leading up to the altercation are still under investigation.

Chief Miller, a married father-of-three, had served as the chief of the eight-member MPD since 2007, the agency said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Mannford Mayor Tyler Buttram said that Chief Miller and Det. Nealey were more than coworkers – they were best friends, The Washington Post reported.

“They were the best of friends, both on the force and off,” Buttram said. “Their families knew each other very well.”

“Where you saw one you saw the other,” he explained, according to Heavy.com. “That’s why it’s hard for everyone, because it just doesn’t make sense.”

The mayor said the small town has been in shock since they learned about the deadly altercation.

“If this tragedy would have happened serving a police warrant or pulling somebody over…that’s the kind of stuff you can wrap your head around,” Buttram told The Washington Post. “But when two friends go to training class together, you just don’t expect something like this to happen. It just doesn’t make sense. Not two best friends.

Mannford Interim Police Chief Jerry Ridley said that Chief Miller had an “open-door policy,” and that he was always willing to help others.

“If you were having a problem, you could go in and talk to him, and he’d try to help fix it,” Chief Ridley explained. “And he was a leader that led by example and not by telling you what to do.”

Chief Miller was also a Stroud Public Schools (SPS) board member, KFOR reported.

“He is a young man that will be deeply missed by our community and by myself personally because I considered him a friend," SPS Superintendent Joe Van Tuyl told the news outlet. "He had that quality to be friendly with the public but still enforce the law. Lucky will be missed by the entire area.”

A fundraising campaign established to help return Chief Miller’s body to his widow and to pay for funeral expenses has raised over $3,000 so far.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mannford Police Department Chief Lucky Miller, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (16)
No. 1-12

RIP Chief Miller. Such a tragedy, how could his "best friend" do that to him? Alcohol is a dangerous substance in the wrong hands, and obviously this man couldn't handle his own. 🙏🏻💙🇺🇸

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Self-defense? As Always it is tough to know what to think until we hear the suspect's side of the story


One thing that sticks out in this story is a murder without a weapon. I have been noticing this more and more, in the news. Fists are becoming the new murder weapon. From what I could ascertain from the article, the killer, in this case, was using MMA style punching on the victim, much like those used against Zimmerman by Trayvon Martin. Just like in the cage matches, the victor sits on top of the loser and finishes him off with a flurry of rapid punches to the face. Why is this important? When police are being attacked by a thug, it should not be considered "excessive force" to use their weapon. Just my opinion.


Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS for they shall be called SON'S of GOD. Matthew 5:9


Alcohol-fueled rage over what? A personal betrayal, perhaps. Something considered unforgivable...or simply the feeling that it existed? Best friends, always together. Close families. 💔💔 Nothing but sadness all the way around now. How can the families find peace? Praying for them now.


This is really tragic. Neither of these families will ever be the same. 😥🙏


Careful on the amount of liquor you drink, it can be quite deadly not only to yourself, but others as well.


“Lucky”. Not really.


Prayers for all involved. Im sure you will think its crazy but with them being best friends and at a LEO conference I cant help but think out of the box. With stories of cops food and drinks being spiked with everything from dirt to drugs, nothing surprises me what people will do to get back at the police. I hope they did a drug test on both. Its not crazy to think someone slipped them something and caused all this. I dont usually think this way but there is no limit what people will do and sounds like they respected and cared about eachother, just doesnt sound right.

Amitzah Mitzvah
Amitzah Mitzvah

I can't help to remember a woman that I called a friend preyed on the knowledge of a disability I have to weasel into my life. After 7 years I was told she had lied to me and had been using our friendship to swindled me.

I didn't believe she would have done something like that to me, not did I ever bring the subject up.

As she paid attention to people I had as friends, still not letting on that she knew the depth of the disability and swindling me for what she could get, she began distancing herself from our friendship.

Wasn't a problem for me. It was after her distancing herself from me I was told about the swindling.

I look back now and wonder what did I have that she singled me out to be her victim? I didn't trip out, I simply let her fly out of my memory.

I brought that up because I wondered, and in a previous comment asked, how long had these officers known each other?

Seems that the officer that lived may have felt inferior in a hot dog competition. (Remembering how a witness heard something about being hurt) and once he had the superior position he exacted revenge.

A hot dog competition is force against force, weight and muscle might be inferior to maneuverability, locks, holds, and skills.

Then again ... If there is something in their past ... Sometimes revenge can take on the persona of a friend, a lover, a boss, and employee, a pastor, a rabbi, an imam or simply has a foe of the past that finally grew up and put the past in the past though really harbored the past in the heart of a deceiver.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

wheres the victim blaming? the criminals records being broadcast to the world? OH I forgot thy are BOTH cops! nothing but praise and sunshine for all! FUCK THEM BOTH!

now it's time to watch this get sugar coated and deemed an accident with the victim having an unknown medical condition!

Ben Cates
Ben Cates

Gotta say this - too many guys out there don't know how to GROW THE F&$# UP.

If you have kids and a family , there is ZERO excuse for getting drunk with your buddies.

EVER! Grown men don't get drunk. Juveniles who happen to have aged more get drunk.

Men! Be role models. Stop looking for an excuse to act like over-grown children.

This is tragic, but would never have happened except for immature behavior.

This is no snow-flake rant. But real men would put their families and careers ahead of juvenile hijinks, and never get into that situation in the first place.

Fallen Heroes