Topeka man sentenced to federal prison for second-degree murder on cruise ship

Crime

Eric Newman, mug shot

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Topeka man was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in federal prison for the second-degree murder of a woman he was traveling with on a cruise ship vacation, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

Eric Newman, 55, of Topeka pleaded guilty to killing Tamara Tucker, who died Jan. 19, 2018, onboard the Carnival Elation, a vessel registered in Panama. The Carnival Elation was on a voyage that took passengers from Jacksonville, Fla., to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and back.

In his plea, Newman said he and Tucker were traveling together and were assigned to cabin room G-29, located on the 14th deck of the cruise ship’s starboard side. The cabin had a balcony overlooking the ship’s 11th deck. During an argument in their room, Newman attacked Tucker.

“He had his hands around her neck when he pushed her over a balcony railing and she fell to her death on the 11th deck,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

McAllister was joined at a press conference Wednesday in Topeka by Ms. Tucker’s family, including her mother, Wanda Tucker-Schrantz, her sister, Dawn Tucker, and her brother, Bo Tucker.

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