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Coast Guardsman, 19, accused of murdering a sailor in Alaska



A 19-year-old Coast Guard was arrested last January in Alaska, accused of murdering another sailor.

The seaman Ethan Tucker of Ludington, Michigan, was charged with several violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), including murder, involuntary homicide, aggravated assault, mutilation, obstruction of justice, filing a false official statement and non-compliance a rule, the Coast Guard said.

Tucker was charged on Wednesday after the branch conducted a seven-month investigation into the death of Seaman Ethan Kelch, 19, who was found to be unresponsive on the shores of Amaknak Island on January 27. Tucker's indictment allegedly struck the goblet from Virginia Beach, Virginia, before it was left dead in the water.

Respondents performed CPR, but Kelch was declared dead in a nearby hospital clinic.

Tucker allegedly said he had injured his hand when he hit a steel wall when he learned of Kelch's death.

Both sailors had been assigned to Dutch-docked Coast Guard Cutter Munro Harbor for repairs. Coast Guard Trimmer, including Douglas Munro (WHEC 724), who moored last May in Kodiak, Alaska.

  (US Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jacob Marx, file)

Coast Guard tailors, including Douglas Munro (WHEC 724), are moored last May in Kodiak, Alaska. (US Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jacob Marx, file)

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"Since both sailors were aboard the ship, they had some interaction with each other in June," said Cangemi.

Tucker was transferred to the Coast Guard of Alameda, California in June The investigation has been initiated, Cangemi said, and has been assigned to the Security Division.

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"He was investigating at that time, but security work enabled him to be adequately monitored by basic security" Cangemi said all his wages and allowances.

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Tucker was held in the consolidated Marine Brigade Miramar in San Diego, where he waits for an Article 32 hearing to determine if he is there will be a court martial.

"As our shipmate dies prematurely, we are in contact with his family to provide as much support as possible during this tragic and difficult time," Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Brickey said in a statement. "Today's accusations are the result of the Coast Guard's unwavering desire to gather all the facts and seek justice."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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