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WASHINGTON — A Kansas man has pleaded guilty to murdering his girlfriend on a cruise ship last year.

Eric Newman, 55, of Topeka pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Newman and his girlfriend, Tamara Tucker, boarded a Carnival cruise ship on Jan. 18, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida for a cruise to the Bahamas.

Newman and Tucker were staying together in a cabin on the 13th deck of the ship when they became involved in a fight. Newman then strangled Tucker and pushed her over the cabin room balcony, causing her to fall to the 11th deck.

According to prosecutors, Tucker died from blunt force trauma because of the fall.

At the time of the attack, the ship was 30 nautical miles from New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Newman’s sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2020.