BAY COUNTY, Fla. - An altercation at a Panama City Beach motel left one man dead this week.
The suspect admitted to killing his friend.
After Coconut Grove Motel employees discovered 36-year-old Gerald Breen's lifeless body in one of their rooms Thursday, the investigation ended quickly. Thanks to surveillance video, Bay County Sheriff's deputies tracked down and arrested 26-year-old Rex Stewart at a home in Callaway.
Police said the murder happened in room 124, but many questions were left unanswered.
The suspect said the day started with a trip to Walmart.
"He tells me, 'I want to get this item right here because I want you to kill me with this,'" Stewart said.
According to him, the two purchased a commando-style hand saw and made their way back to the motel.
"I kept trying to tell him 'no'. [I said] I can't do that to you, I'm not that type of person. I can't kill you. I can't do this,'" Stewart said.
He claimed that drugs were not involved the day of the murder, but that Breen was worried about someone from a past drug deal.
"He kept saying someone was going to kill him. He said, 'I'd rather have it be you [who kills me] than someone else.'"
An argument about whether to go through with it led them from a physical fight--
"I literally thought he was still alive," Stewart said.
--to a death.
"I honestly just wanted to choke him out enough for him to fall asleep," he said.
The suspect said he didn't know he had killed Breen until he saw a report on TV.
"I'd rather be homeless and miserable than the situation I'm in right now," Stewart said.
When asked if he had regret, he said, "Of course.That man's my best friend."
Stewart is being held without bond in the Bay County Jail.
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