Cruise ship murder update: Judge sets trial date for man indicted in wife’s killing

A federal judge has set an October trial date for a man who was arrested and accused of murdering his own wife while aboard an Alaska-bound cruise ship, as reported by FOX 13.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith has set the murder trial of Kenneth Manzanares, 39, to begin on October 23. Manzanares is facing a federal murder charge in the death of his wife, Kristy Manzanares, also 39.

In an arraignment hearing last week, he pleaded not guilty to the charge, court records indicate. Judge Smith has informed both legal teams that if they plan on entering into a plea agreement, they have until October 16 to finalize the details.

“Counsel are expected to calendar changes of plea and file a notice of intent to change plea at the earliest possible time prior to trial,” the judge wrote. “All signed plea agreements must be filed no later than seven days before the trial date.”

As Crime Online recently reported, Kristy was found dead on July 25 in the couple’s ship cabin with a head wound.

“Blood was spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces” and Kenneth was covered in blood, court records state.

Kenneth allegedly tried to drag his wife’s body to the balcony, but he was stopped by a witness. The 39-year-old allegedly told another cruise-goer that he murdered his wife because “she wouldn’t stop laughing at me.” Kristy is reported to have asked Kenneth for a divorce while on the cruise.

Federal authorities have been leading the investigation because the crime occurred in United States waters. The trial itself will occur in a court room in Juneau, Alaska. Federal prosecutors have not yet decided if they will seek the death penalty in this case.

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