Kenneth Manzanares (right), who was serving a 30-year sentence for murdering his wife Kristy Manzanares (middle) aboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship (left) was found dead in his jail cell (Pictures: Inside Edition/Facebook)
A man who was serving a 30-year sentence for beating his wife to death on a cruise ship after she asked for a divorce has died in prison. Kenneth Manzanares, 43, was found unresponsive in his cell early Wednesday.
The husband, who killed his wife Kristy Manzanares, 39, was found at 6.59am, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections. Emergency responders arrived at 7.14am and pronounced him dead about a half-hour later.
Authorities said foul play was not suspected and did not elaborate on the circumstances around Kenneth’s death.
‘Alaska DOC does not release cause of death due to confidentiality,’ the department’s spokeswoman Betsy Holley told Law & Crime.
Kenneth and Kristy got into an argument after she asked for a divorce while the family was vacationing aboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship in July 2017. Kristy told Kenneth to get off the cruise in Alaska and return to Utah, according to the US Attorney for the District of Alaska.
The husband told their children to leave the room and the couple went to a relative’s cabin, where Kristy was heard screaming as her husband straddled and punched her head. Kristy’s father and brothers found Kenneth dragging her body to the balcony. One of the men managed to grasp her ankles and brought her back to the cabin but she was unable to be revived.
Kenneth in February 2020 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. In May 2021, Kenneth blamed a ‘history of testosterone supplementation’ and other impairments for his violent actions and asked for a more lenient sentence.
‘What happened that night on the ship is what can only be described as a perfect storm,’ Kenneth’s lawyer Jamie McGrady wrote at the time. ‘Kenny’s brain injury, combined with his undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder and a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence.’
Prosecutors sought a life sentence, but Kenneth was sentenced to 30 years on June 4.
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