Utah Man Pleads Guilty To Murdering Wife On Alaskan Cruise

Feb 7, 2020, 3:30 PM | Updated: 3:34 pm

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Kimberly Cruz, a former employee of Granite Park Junior High, was sentenced Monday to six years to life in prison for sexual abuse of a 14-year-old student at the school. (File photo)

(File photo)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A southern Utah man has pleaded guilty to murdering his wife during a 2017 cruise in southeast Alaska.

Kenneth Manzanares, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder on Friday.

“Every year, millions of visitors come to Alaska to marvel at the stunning scenery of the Great Land,” said U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder. “The vast majority have a safe experience that provides a lifetime of memories. However, on those rare occasions where a crime is committed on a visitor, especially a brutal crime like the murder of Kristy Manzanares, rest assured the Alaskan law enforcement community will act to bring the perpetrator to justice. Our hearts go out to the family and those close to Kristy Manzanares.”

FBI officials said Kristy Manzanares was killed onboard the cruise ship Emerald Princess on July 25, 2017.

Kenneth Manzanares admitted in court that the Santa Clara, Utah, couple got into an argument while in their cabin with a minor child and their daughter.

According to officials, Kristy Manzanares said she wanted a divorce and during the argument told her husband to disembark in Juneau, Alaska, and travel home.

Kenneth Manzares said in court that he told the minor and his daughter to leave the cabin.

The two heard Kristy Manzanares scream and they tried to re-enter the cabin when Kenneth said he told them, “don’t come in here.”

The minor and daughter then went to the connected balcony between the cabins and federal officials said they saw Manzanares standing over his wife, striking her in the head.

Emergency personnel and ship officials attempted to save Kristy Manzanares’ life but were unsuccessful.

In an affidavit filed shortly after her death, FBI Special Agent Michael Watson said Manzanares was found in a blood-splattered cabin aboard the ship with a severe head wound.

FBI officials said Kenneth Manzanares was arrested on July 26, 2017, in connection with her death.

Manzanares faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or both, according to FBI officials.

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Utah Man Pleads Guilty To Murdering Wife On Alaskan Cruise