TOPEKA, Ks. (CW69 News at 10)
A Topeka, Kan., man was sentenced today to 12 years in federal prison for the second degree murder of a woman he was traveling with on a cruise ship vacation, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Eric Newman, 55, Topeka, Kan., pleaded guilty to killing Tamara Tucker, who died Jan. 19, 2018, on board 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.
“The man who killed Tamara Tucker was no stranger to her,” McAllister said. “He was her intimate partner for years, a person she loved and trusted. He was the one person she wanted to share this special voyage and to join her in celebrating her 50th birthday.”
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,” McAllister said.
McAllister was joined at a press conference today in Topeka by Ms. Tucker’s family, including her mother, Wanda Tucker-Schrantz, her sister, Dawn Tucker and her brother, Bo Tucker.
“As a professional social worker with a master’s degree, a teacher and an advocate, Ms. Tucker was no stranger to the complexities of human nature that can transform love into deadly violence,” McAllister said.