The Utah family were on an Alaska cruise in 2017 when the husband beat his wife to death. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Kenneth Manzanares, 43, pleaded guilty to second degree murder last year after beating his wife, 39, Kristy Manzanares, to death on July 25, 2017.
He was sentenced to 30 years in prison plus five years probation.
On July 14, Kenneth was found unconscious in his Alaskan jail cell around 7 a.m. local time. He was pronounced dead at 7:42 a.m.
According to a statement from the Alaska Department of Corrections, Kenneth’s death was unrelated to Covid-19, and foul play is not suspected.
A heinous crime
The couple and their three children were traveling on the Emerald Princess cruise ship to celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary.
Kenneth apparently broke up after Kristy laughed at him and then told him she wanted a divorce.
The couple’s three daughters were present to hear their mother’s screams as their father hit their mother on the head with closed fists, The Associated Press reported.
Other family members were also present on the cruise ship. Not only did the couple’s three children partly witness their mother’s murder, but Kenneth’s brothers and father did as well, the AP reported.
Kenneth’s defense team claimed he suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder, mixed alcohol with drugs and suffered from brain abnormalities caused by years of contact sports , according to the AP.
His lawyers pleaded for a more lenient sentence of 7.5 years. Meanwhile, prosecutors argued that he should be jailed for life.
BIZARRE MURDER MYSTERY COINCIDENCE
On the night of Kristy’s murder, cruise ship passengers expected to participate in a mysterious event about the murder of Sherlock Holmes.
As the real murder of the mother-of-three unfolded, many passengers assumed it was part of the ship’s pre-arranged entertainment.
Passenger Natalie Beckstrom told St. George News the murder mystery was cut short when someone came to the intercom to call medical and security personnel.
“He looked a little out of breath as he spoke,” Beckstrom said.
“… That’s kind of what everyone in the room thought, was that it was just part of the play… So, you know, we all sat down and went on with the play.” “
Beckstrom later saw a man covered in blood coming out of the hallway talking to a woman who was standing next to a 13-year-old girl wrapped in a blanket.
She heard him say to the woman, “That doesn’t look good.
“And so, at that point, the 13-year-old just lost him – she just started sobbing, ‘I want my mom. I want my mom, ”Beckstrom recalls.