A Utah man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison Thursday for beating his wife to death aboard a cruise ship in Alaska.
Kenneth Manzanares pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year for killing his wife, Kristy Manzanares, during a 2017 family vacation aboard the Emerald Princess. Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson for the District of Alaska said the crime demonstrated a “chilling neglect for human life.”
“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 said.
Kristy Manzanares told her husband in their cabin she wanted a divorce and asked him to leave the ship while it was in Juneau and go back to Utah, according to court documents.
The couple’s daughters were in a relative’s room adjoining the cabin when they heard their mother scream, federal prosecutors said. When they attempted to go into the cabin through the adjoining door, Kenneth Manzanares told them, “Don’t come in here.”
But Kenneth Manzanares was visible through a connected balcony and was seen hitting his wife in the head with his closed fists and straddling her, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska said. Manzanares allegedly said “she would not stop laughing at me,” according to a criminal complaint.
While one of the daughters ran for help, Kristy Manzanares’ father and two brothers arrived to find her husband trying to drag her to a balcony, according to court documents. One of the brothers grabbed her ankles and pulled her back into the cabin.
Kristy Manzanares died of blunt force trauma to the head.
Kenneth Manzaneres will serve 30 years with no chance at parole and an additional five years of supervised release.