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Crime & Courts

Sentencing scheduled for man accused of beating wife to death on cruise to Alaska

JUNEAU — Sentencing has been set for June for a man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the beating death of his wife during a 2017 family cruise to Alaska.

Kenneth Manzanares, who is from Utah, signed a plea agreement in the case in January 2020. Sentencing was initially set for last May but was pushed back and this week was scheduled to be held in Juneau’s federal court on June 3 and 4. The case was handled by federal authorities because the death took place in waters outside the state’s jurisdiction before the cruise ship reached Juneau.

The plea agreement states Manzanares, his wife, Kristy, and family members were on a cruise to Alaska when on July 25, 2017, the couple began arguing about Kenneth Manzanares’ behavior and Kristy Manzanares said she wanted a divorce.

Manzanares said he hit his wife once, saw blood and hit her again but he said he had no memory after that, according to the document. An autopsy determined Kristy Manzanares had died from blunt force trauma to her head and face, the document states.

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