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Man Who Beat His Wife To Death In Front Of Family On Alaska Cruise Gets 30 Years

Kenneth Manzanares brutally murdered his wife Kristy on a cruise meant to mark their 18th wedding anniversary.

By Gina Tron

A Utah man who fatally beat his wife on an Alaska cruise ship has been sentenced to 30 years behind bars.

A judge handed Kenneth Manzanares the lengthy sentence Thursday morning in an Anchorage, Alaska courthouse for the 2017 murder of his spouse Kristy Manzanares aboard an Emerald Princess cruise liner. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess described the killing as violent and brutal during the sentencing, the Associated Press reports. Manzanares looked back in the direction of two of his daughters following the sentencing before he was led out of the courtroom. 

He killed Kristy aboard the cruise as their children and other family members watched, a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com last year stated. The couple was supposed to be celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary but Kristy asked for a divorce at some point instead, following an argument over Kenneth's behavior.

Kristy Manzanares

Kenneth then beat Kristy in their cruise cabin as their children heard their mother's screams, according to the probable cause statement. The father told his kids “don’t come in here” as they tried to check in on their mother, before watching Kenneth “straddling” his wife and pummeling her with “closed fists.” After the beating, he tried dragging her body towards the boat’s balcony but was stopped by one of Kristy’s brothers.

Last year, Manzanares pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the brutal slaying. Earlier this week at a sentencing hearing, he stated through tears that he loved his wife, describing her as his “soul mate,” the Associated Press reports.

The husband’s attorneys claim in a court filing that Manzanares had brain abnormalities from playing contact sports, as well as undiagnosed bipolar disorder and “a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence,” according to the report.

They requested a seven-and-a-half year term while prosecutors, who depicted Manzanares as a violent bully, asked for life.

During this week’s sentencing hearing, the slain woman’s father Jeff Hunt told Burgess that he hopes Manzanares “gets what he deserves,” the Associated Press reports.

He said he considered life behind bars for his son-in-law to be justice for the killing.

Manzanares' lawer Jamie McGrady told the Associated Press on Thursday an appeal would be filed against the sentence, which she described as a tragedy. She claims judge ignored scientific evidence.

Prosecutor Jack Schmidt, meanwhile, told the outlet that while he didn't get life as they hoped, “hopefully the healing process can begin” for the family.

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