Kansas man pushed girlfriend over cruise ship balcony to her death

A Kansas man pleaded guilty on Thursday to killing his girlfriend aboard a cruise ship nearly two years ago, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas said in a news release.

Eric Duane Newman, 55, pleaded guilty to a single count of second degree murder with malice aforethought in the death of Tamara Tucker, who fell several decks from a balcony at their 13th deck stateroom on January 19, 2018, CrimeOnline previously reported.

Newman and Tucker were aboard the Carnival Elation ship for a four-day excursion to the Bahamas. They had boarded the ship on January 18 in Jacksonville, Florida, and got into an argument before midnight that night, the US Attorney’s Office said.

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Shortly after midnight, Newman attacked Tucker, strangling her.

“In the process of strangling her, Newman pushed Tucker over the cabin room balcony railing causing her to fall to her death onto the 11th deck,” the US Attorney’s Office said. “Ms. Tucker died from blunt force trauma as a result of the fall.”

The ship was about 30 miles off the coast of Florida at the time, in international waters.

Tucker turned 50 the day before the pair boarded the ship for the cruise, an obituary posted in Kansas said. Originally from Lawson, Missouri, Tucker was a professor of social work and a full-time faculty member at Park University in Missouri.

Newman was indicted and arrested for Tucker’s death in September 2018. He is scheduled for sentencing on March 18, 2020.

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[Feature Photo: Eric Newman and Tamara Tucker/Shawnee County Department of Corrections; Cremation Society of Kansas & Missouri]