Southern Utah man sentenced to 30 years in prison for wife’s 2017 murder on cruise ship

Kristy and Kenneth Manzanares. File photo: Facebook

SANTA CLARA, Utah, June 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A southern Utah man who pleaded guilty last year to his wife’s 2017 murder on an Alaskan cruise ship during a family vacation was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in federal prison.

Kenneth Manzanares was sentenced in the beating death of 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares in their cabin aboard the Emerald Princess. Prosecutors said the assault came after Kristy told her husband she wanted a divorce and asked him to leave the ship.

Kristy Manzanares died of blunt force trauma to the head. Kenneth Manzanares reportedly said at the scene, “she would not stop laughing at me,” according to a criminal complaint.

Witnesses told investigators that Manzanares tried to throw his wife’s bloodied body overboard. Family members were in an adjoining cabin, and one of the victim’s brothers prevented him from disposing of the body at sea, prosecutors said.

Manzanares faced federal charges because the death took place in open territorial waters.

Manzanares had pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a plea deal. His 30 years will be served without possibility of parole, the judge ruled, and Manzanares will face five years of supervised parole after his release.

Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson for the District of Alaska said the crime demonstrated a “chilling neglect for human life,” according to news reports.

“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.”

Kristy Manzanares. File photo: Facebook

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