Utah man sentenced to 30 years for ‘chilling’ murder of wife on cruise


FILE – This July 26, 2017 file photo shows the Emerald Princess cruise ship docked in Juneau, Alaska. A federal judge on Thursday, June 3, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska, sentenced Kenneth Manzanares charged with first-degree murder to 30 years in prison for the beating death of his wife, Kristy Manzanares while aboard the ship on a cruise to Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

JUNEAU, Alaska (NEXSTAR) — A Utah man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the beating death of his wife on an Alaska cruise.

“In 2017 Kenneth Manzanares brutally murdered his wife Kristy Manzanares while on an Alaskan cruise with their three daughters and extended family members,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska said in a news release Thursday. “This was not a random act of violence but a chilling neglect for human life for which he will serve 30 years in federal prison, where there is no parole ever.”

Kenneth Manzanares, 43, pleaded guilty in February of 2020 to second-degree murder after prosecutors said he killed his wife while on the Emerald Princess cruise ship outside southeast Alaska on July 25, 2017.

Manzanares told investigators he was arguing with his wife about his behavior that evening when Kristy Manzanares said she wanted a divorce and told him to get off in Juneau and go home to Utah, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Alaska.

According to statements made during the plea deal, Kenneth told their two daughters to leave the room, but they came back in and saw him straddling Kristy and punching her repeatedly in the head.

Kristy’s father and two brothers went to the room, and one of her brothers reported seeing Kenneth drag Kristy’s body toward the balcony before pulling her back into the cabin, the news release stated.

Medical personnel unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate Kristy that evening around 9:00 p.m. Authorities later determined that she died of blunt force trauma to the head and face.

Prosecutors had sought life in prison for Manzanares, while his attorneys requested 7 1/2 years.

Manzanares looked back briefly, toward where two of his daughters sat in the courtroom, before being led out after the sentence was announced.

“While today’s sentence will not bring Kristy back to her family and friends, we hope it provides a sense of justice for this heinous crime and brings some closure to those who knew and cared about her,” Wilson stated.

An attorney for Manzanares says an appeal will be filed. A prosecutor says he hopes with the sentence that the healing process for the family can begin.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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