Judge sentences Topeka man to 12 years for cruise ship murder

Local News

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas City Chief District Judge Julie Robinson sentenced Topeka resident Eric Newman Wednesday morning for the murder of his long time girlfriend, Tamara Tucker.

Newman plead guilty to second degree murder in December of 2019, and was sentenced to:

  • 12 years in federal prison
  • 5 years of supervised release
Eric Newman

Newman got into an argument with his girlfriend Tamara Tucker on a Carnival cruise ship traveling to the Bahamas in January of 2018. During the argument, he began to strangle her and pushed her over the railing, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tucker’s family is remembering her for the kindness she gave towards everyone.

“She would see someone in need, and she would help them, no matter what she had to do,” Anna Tucker, Tamara’s niece, said. “If she had three dollars in her pocket, and this person needed five dollars, she’d find a way to give them five dollars.”

Tucker died just days following her 50th birthday, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen McAllister.

“Now perhaps Mr. Newman says he loved Ms. Tucker. Perhaps he was immediately remorseful for what he’d done. Perhaps he is remorseful now, but that is all too late,” McAllister said in a press conference immediately following the sentencing.

Now, Tucker’s family is working to create action for domestic violence victims, with Tamara’s passion for advocacy as a inspiration.

“It’s not just about today, and about a sad family,” Wanda Tucker Schranz, Tamara’s mother, said. “It’s about changing the laws and the way people view domestic violence.”

Currently, child and domestic violence abusers are not included in the State of Kansas’ registered offender list.

Tucker’s family is encouraging state lawmakers to create a bill that would include them, and also provide education and counseling resources to both victims and abusers.

The family said they hope this resource will help domestic violence victims before it’s too late.

You can watch the full news conference here.

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