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Kadena staff sergeant charged in stabbing death of fellow airman

By | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 24, 2011

Air Force officials on Thursday formally charged a Kadena airman in last month’s stabbing death of Tech. Sgt. Curtis Eccleston.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Cron, a member of the 733rd Air Mobility Squadron with Eccleston, faces charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder and obstruction of justice, according to a news release from 18th Air Wing officials. Air Force officials have been holding Cron in pretrial confinement since Feb. 13, but had not released his name or any charges until now.

Last month, the victim’s wife, 32-year-old Barbara Keiko Eccleston, was charged by Japanese prosecutors in the murder. Japanese media had previously named Cron as her accomplice in the crime.

Eccleston, 30, was found dead Feb. 6 in a pool of blood on the floor of the couple’s off-base apartment in Okinawa’s Mihama district.

Investigators said his neck and throat had been slashed, and Japanese police recovered knives possibly used in the attack from a river outside Naha, acting on tips given to Air Force officials by Cron.

Officials with the 18th Air Wing have already stated that the military will maintain jurisdiction over Cron’s prosecution. No timeline has been set for his court martial.

Kadena Air Base officials held a memorial service for Eccleston last month, and friends and family have set up a memorial Facebook site with photos and memories of the airman.

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