TACOMA, WA – Today Eric Michael Elliser, 35, was sentenced to life without parole for the 2013 stabbing death of Derek Scott Wagner, 27. In April, a jury convicted Elliser of murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree. Elliser’s co-defendant, Shane Thomas McKittrick, 33, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury convicted him of murder in the second degree and manslaughter in the first degree.
“This was a complicated and violent case that required tenacious police work and prosecution,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “The Tacoma Police Department and Deputy Prosecutors Jim Schacht and Angelica Williams vigorously pursued justice.”
On Nov. 16, 2013, Jeffrey Cooke picked up Wagner and they drove to a party at Elliser’s house. McKittrick arrived at the party shortly after Wagner and a verbal confrontation ensued. Wagner had recently been accused of having an affair with the wife of a fellow skinhead.
Wagner and Cooke left the party in Cooke’s vehicle and the two headed back to Cooke’s house. McKittrick chased them down in his car. The cars pulled over a short distance from Cooke’s house and a physical altercation ensued. During the fight, Elliser arrived in another vehicle and joined in. McKittrick stabbed Wagner three times.
Wagner was able to run away, but collapsed and died in the backyard of a neighboring house. The following afternoon, a man discovered Wagner’s body in his yard and called police.
According to the medical examiner, Wagner died from a fatal stab wound to the heart.
Two other defendants pleaded guilty before trial. A jury acquitted a fifth defendant.
The defendants and the victim have ties to the Aryan Skins Kindred (ASK) prison gang.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office