Kenneth and Kristy Manzanares

Husband gets 30 years for savage beating death of wife on Alaska cruise

A Utah man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday for the beating death of his wife during a family cruise to Alaska in 2017.

Kenneth Manzanares, 43, pleaded guilty in February 2020 to the second-degree murder of Kristy Manzanares, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

Kenneth, Kristy, their three daughters, and several members of Kristy’s extended family were aboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship on July 25, 2017, when Kristy and her husband argued over his behavior. Kristy told him she wanted a divorce and told him to get off the ship in Juneau and go back to Utah. Kenneth asked the children to go to an adjoining cabin, prosecutors said, and minutes later, Kristy began to scream.

The children tried to get back into the room, but their father ordered them to stay away. From an adjacent balcony, they saw their father punching their mother with his fists. Kristy’s brothers and fathers arrived and saw Kenneth dragging Kristy’s body toward the balcony. They intervened and brought her back to safety, but it was too late. Crew members responded moments later and were unable to revive her.

“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,” said Acting US Attorney Bryan Wilson of the District of Alaska.

“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,” Wilson said.

“No excuse can justify the savagery committed by this man, who will now spend the next three decades behind bars,” said Robert Britt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “The FBI worked tirelessly, with the support of our partners, to seek justice for Kristy – a beloved mother, daughter, sister and friend.”

Kenneth allegedly told a witness soon after the attack that he killed Kristy because “she would not stop laughing at me.”

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[Feature Photo: Kristy & Kenneth Manzanares/Facebook]