Defense: Utah Man Charged With Killing Wife Had Brain Injury

May 8, 2021, 9:37 AM | Updated: 10:44 am
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Utah man awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the beating death of his wife on an Alaska cruise had brain abnormalities a defense expert deemed consistent with injuries caused by playing contact sports, according to a court filing in the case.

The filing by federal public defender Jamie McGrady states that this, combined with what was at the time an undiagnosed bipolar disorder and “a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence” by Kenneth Manzanares.

Manzanares played football, wrestled and boxed when he was younger and had a history of “testosterone supplementation,” the filing states.

Manzanares’ attorneys, in the filing, say they plan to seek a 7 1/2 year prison sentence. Prosecutors, in a separate filing, say they will recommend a life sentence, saying Manzanares had committed “the most serious crime a person can commit against another.”

Both filings cite a presentence report that calculated a sentencing guideline range between 14 years and 17 1/2 years. They also paint different pictures of Manzanares’ relationship with his wife, Kristy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt, in a court filing, said on the night of Kristy Manzanares’ death in 2017, the couple argued in their cabin about Kenneth Manzanares’ behavior at dinner. Kristy Manzanares told her husband he should get off the ship in Juneau, where it was headed, and referred to getting a divorce, the filing states.

Two of the couple’s children tried to get in the room when they heard their mother scream and witnessed part of the assault from a balcony, according to Schmidt’s filing, which describes the assault as brutal and violent.

The prosecution filing also states that Kenneth Manzanares said he had in the past broken TV remotes when angry and punched holes in walls and physically restrained his wife.

Manzanares’ attorneys say this was “not a case of simmering resentment and dysfunction that boiled over into an altercation.”

The filing by McGrady states that law enforcement officers interviewed “dozens and dozens” of witnesses and family friends “looking for signs of marital woes,” such as money problems or domestic abuse and “found none of that.”

Kenneth Manzanares didn’t have an explanation for how or why the assault happened, the filing from McGrady states, and he “appreciates the gravity of what he has done.”

“Although he has come to understand more about himself, his impairments and deficits, he knows it is no excuse and this explanation will likely give no comfort to those who loved his wife,” the filing from his attorneys states.

Sentencing is set for next month.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Credit: Charlene Huber)...
Michael Houck

Family displaced after garage fire in Millcreek

A Millcreek family is displaced from their home after a fire started near their garage Sunday afternoon.
24 hours ago
The suspect motor home that abducted a woman. (Credit: South Salt Lake Police)...
Michael Houck

Police cancel search for possible abduction suspect

South Salt Lake Police are searching for a motorhome that possibly abducted a woman Saturday evening.
24 hours ago
Michael Houck

Bush fire spreads to carport and sheds, no injuries

A brush fire destroyed a carport and two sheds Saturday evening, no one was hurt, and no homes were threatened.
24 hours ago
The semi that's blocking traffic on I-80. (Credit: UDOT)...
Michael Houck

Semi tips, blocks traffic on I-80 in Summit County

A semitrailer tipped over on Interstate 80, reducing eastbound traffic to one lane.
24 hours ago
Navajo Nations Veterans Administration Director James Zwierlein, Navajo Nation President Jonathan N...
NOEL LYN SMITH Farmington Daily Times

Navajo Nation authorized to file benefit claims for veterans

The Navajo Nation Veterans Administration was formally recognized by the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for being the first tribal nation program to receive accreditation to help veterans submit federal benefits claims directly to the VA.
24 hours ago
Police responded to a shooting at 1485 South Major Street Sunday morning. (KSL TV)...
Cary J. Schwanitz and Michael Locklear

Salt Lake Police investigate shooting at 1485 South Major Street Sunday morning.

A 20-year-old man is in critical condition after he was shot early Sunday near 1485 S. Major Street in Salt Lake City.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Defense: Utah Man Charged With Killing Wife Had Brain Injury