Southern Utah man pleads not guilty to wife’s cruise ship murder

Santa Clara resident Kristy Manzanares was killed while on a cruise. Photos: Facebook and Wikipedia

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Kenneth Manzanares, the Southern Utah man charged with his wife’s cruise ship beating death, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

An attorney for Manzanares entered the plea for his client, who appeared via video conference from Juneau, where he has been incarcerated since his arrest. A U.S. District Court judge accepted the plea in an Anchorage courtroom.

Manzanares, 39, was indicted earlier this month for the July 25 death of wife Kristy Manzanares, also 39. The Santa Clara residents were aboard the Emerald Princess with their daughters for an anniversary cruise.

On Wednesday, Manzanares appeared in a yellow, short-sleeve jumpsuit, according to an account from the SFGate.com. Manzanares appeared emotional at times, and dabbed at his eyes when the indictment was read, the news site reported.

Prosecutors have not yet decided whether they will seek the death penalty in the case, SFGate.com reported.

Legal documents filed in Anchorage said that on the night of his wife’s death, Manzanares answered his cabin door with blood covering his hands and clothing, according to a witness identified as D.H.

When D.H. entered the cabin, he saw the suspect’s wife, on the floor, covered with blood. When D.H. asked why he did it, Kenneth Manzanares replied: “She would not stop laughing at me.”

The dead woman was found with severe wounds to her head.

“D.H. then observed Manzanares grab K.M.’s body and drag her toward the
balcony in cabin D726. D.H. then grabbed the ankles of K.M.’s body and pulled her back into the cabin of D726,” the court documents say.

“Soon after, Emerald Princess security entered D726 and restrained and secured Manzanares. Later, when Manzanares was being processed during a search by the F.B.I. for physical evidence, he spontaneously stated, ‘my life is over.’”

Kristy and Kenneth Manzanares. Photo: Facebook

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