11:13 AM PDT, June 4, 2021
A Utah man who beat his wife to death while on an Alaskan cruise with their family in 2017 has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Kenneth Manzanares, 43, pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder for killing his wife in a cruise ship cabin. At the time, his attorneys asked for 7-and-a-half years while prosecutors sought a life sentence.
Manzanares, his wife Kristy, and their three daughters were on vacation aboard the cruise ship Emerald Princess near the coast of Alaska in July 2017, the Department of Justice said in a release.
On the evening of July 25, Manzanares and his wife got into an argument about his behavior earlier that night, according to reports.
Prosecutors say that during the argument, Kristy had expressed wanting a divorce and told her husband to exit the ship and go back home to Santa Clara.
At that point, Manzanares told his two daughters, who were in the room at the time, to leave. Within minutes, the girls heard screams but their father told them “don’t come in here,” according to the release.
But the daughters witnessed from a balcony their father straddling their mother and striking her on the head.
Passengers said they heard the mother’s screams from two decks below.
When authorities arrived they said they saw Kristy with “a severe head wound and blood was spread throughout the room.”
“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 U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska.
“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.”