Utah man accused of murdering wife aboard cruise ship pleads not guilty

Posted at 4:05 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 18:09:36-04

JUNEAU, Alaska — A St. George man charged with first-degree murder in connection with the July 25 death of his wife aboard a cruise ship pleaded not guilty Wednesday, St. George News reports.

Kenneth Manzanares, 39, appeared in court Wednesday via teleconference and his attorney entered his plea for him, the report said.

Manzanares was indicted last week in the death of 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares, who died aboard the Princess Cruises ship “Emerald Princess” off the coast of Alaska.

A hearing on whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case is expected later this year, the St. George News report said.

Court documents obtained by FOX 13 show that on July 25, security onboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship were called to a cabin that Kenneth and Kristy Manzanares were staying in.

“KM (Kristy Manzanares) had a severe head wound and blood was spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces,” FBI Special Agent Michael Watson wrote in an affidavit.

Witnesses told FBI agents they entered the cabin and saw blood on Kenneth Manzanares’ hands and clothes and saw her body on the floor, covered in blood. When one asked Kenneth Manzanares what happened, the FBI affidavit said he replied: “She would not stop laughing at me.”

The witness told the FBI that Manzanares then grabbed his wife’s body and dragged it toward the balcony.

“D.H. then grabbed the ankles of K.M.’s body and pulled her back into the cabin of D726. Soon after, Emerald Princess security entered D726 and restrained and secured Manzanares,” the agent wrote in the affidavit.

“Later, when Manzanares was being processed during a search by the F.B.I. for physical evidence, he spontaneously stated, ‘my life is over.’”

Passengers on the cruise ship said they had heard fighting leading up to the discovery of Kristy Manzanares’ death and also claimed Kenneth tried to jump off the cruise liner at one point.