It started with a pot roast.

John Hanes had cooked the meal — complete with potatoes and carrots on the side — and brought it to share with his neighbor, Robert Inman. The gesture ultimately led to Hanes’ death, an Omaha police detective testified Monday.

Inman, 55, is charged with manslaughter in the Aug. 29 slaying of Hanes. Both men lived at the Villa Estates mobile home park at 6363 Grover St.

At a preliminary hearing Monday, Detective Ryan Hinsley said Inman became angry when Hanes, 48, stopped by with the pot roast sometime between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Inman had been sleeping and was angry that the visit woke him up, Hinsley testified.

Hanes’ blood-alcohol level was measured at .19, Hinsley said.

Inman killed Hanes by putting him in a chokehold, the detective said.

After the hearing, prosecutor Eric Wells said the two men were friends.

Douglas County Judge Craig McDermott ruled that there was sufficient evidence to try Inman in district court. Inman is being held on $1 million bail.

Police were called to the mobile home park about 4 a.m. Aug. 29 about an assault and found Hanes’ body. They said Inman had called 911 and said he choked a neighbor after the neighbor tried to attack him with a knife.

Hinsley said Monday that Inman had no defensive wounds indicating that he had fought off Hanes. Hanes had brought the knife over to Inman’s home to cut the pot roast, the detective testified.

Authorities have said Hanes’ feet were duct-taped together, and investigators determined that the knife had been placed on the body.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine has said that witnesses told police that Hanes’ feet had been taped together because Inman and others present wanted to restrain Hanes when he regained consciousness. A message had been written on the victim’s back as a joke, Kleine said.

Inman faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

Contact the writer: 402-444-3100, maggie.obrien@owh.com

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