Kenneth Manzanares, 43, pleaded guilty in February 2020 to to second-degree murder in the death of Kristy Manzanares aboard the cruise ship Emerald Princess off the southeast coast of Alaska, according to a news release from the Department of Justice. He will also be under five years of federal supervision following release.
The new charges stem from the night of July 25, 2017, when Kenneth Manzanares, his wife and two of the three couple’s daughters were in a room on the ship. Manzanares and his wife were arguing about his behavior that evening.
During the argument, Kristy Manzanares said she wanted a divorce and told her husband to get off the ship in Juneau and travel back home to Utah, the release said. The couple was from Santa Clara, Utah.
Kenneth Manzanares then told the two daughters to leave the room, and they went into the adjoining room with relatives.
Minutes later, the girls heard screams coming from their parents’ room and tried to reenter, but their father told them “don’t come in here,” the release said.
The girls went to a connected balcony and saw their father straddling their mother on the bed striking her on the head with his fists, according to the release.
Before security arrived, the release said Kristy Manzanares’ brothers and fathers arrived. One brother saw Kenneth Manzanares drag his wife’s body toward the balcony before he grabbed her ankles and pulled her back into the cabin.
Security and medical personnel arrived and tried to save Kristy Manzanares, but were unsuccessful. The release said Kristy Manzanares died of blunt force trauma to her face and head.
“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,” said Acting US Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska.
Kenneth Manzanares was arrested and has remained in federal custody since his arrest in 2017. The case fell under federal jurisdiction because the killing occurred while the ship was in US waters.