Coast Guardsman Accused of Killing Fellow Seaman Freed From Brig in San Diego

Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro moors at its home port in Kodiak, Alaska, on April 23, 2019. (Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean / U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro moors at its home port in Kodiak, Alaska, on April 23, 2019. (Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Dean / U.S. Coast Guard)

A U.S. Coast Guard seaman accused of killing a friend during a night of drinking in Alaska has been released from the brig in San Diego.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says Ethan Tucker was released Monday after the admiral overseeing his prosecution ordered a new hearing in the case.

The 21-year-old from Ludington, Michigan is charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Military prosecutors allege he beat 19-year-old Seaman Ethan Kelch of Virginia Beach, Virginia, in January and left him in frigid water, where he drowned.

Both were serving on the cutter Douglas Munro, based in Kodiak, Alaska.

The Union-Tribune says during an October hearing, Tucker’s defense said videos from a witness showed that Tucker actually fought with Kelch, trying to prevent him from drunkenly taking a swim that night.

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