Man sentenced to 30 years after murder of wife on cruise ship
A Utah man was sentenced to 30 year in prison for the violent death of his wife on an Alaskan cruise in 2017.
The federal judge who presided over the court case of Kenneth Manzanares has labelled the murder of his wife as violent and brutal.
The man plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Kristy Manzanares last year, but prosecutors sought for life in prison.
Manzanares' attorneys, who wanted just seven years for Kenneth, claimed he had brain abnormalities which was backed by a defence expert.
The man, who had injuries caused by playing contact sports, along with an undiagnosed bipolar disorder and “a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence,”.
But Burgess said there was competing evidence offered about Manzanares' culpability and that experts had failed to show what factors led to the crime.
Prosecutors had disputed the defence’s medical claims and in court documents described Manzanares’ actions as intentional, “triggered by his wife telling him she wanted him to leave the cruise ship and that she wanted a divorce.”
The same night of her death, Kristy told her husband that she wanted a divorce, which led to an argument about his behaviour.
Kenneth reportedly had issues with anger and that he had acknowledged restraining his wife in the past and punching holes in walls, prosecutors said.
Defence lawyers said the couple had a “long and happy marriage.”
Jamie McGrady, who is a federal public defender representing Manzanares, accused prosecutors of selectively parsing details from statements Manzanares made to try and paint him as someone who was abusive.
Kristy Manzanares’ life was “viciously ended” by her husband.
The attack was partly witnessed by two of the couple’s children.
Kristy Manzanares’ brothers and father were also on the cruise and responded to and witnessed the scene afterward.
McGrady told The Associated Press that an appeal would be filed after he received 30 years in prison.
She called the sentence a tragedy and said the judge ignored scientific evidence.
Manzanares children said in an emotional speech that their father should be held responsible but also asked the judge to “understand that his impairments played a major factor in the events that occurred, and they have already lost one parent.”
A statement released by Kristy Manzanares' family said the ruling “brings us neither joy nor anger. Rather, simply a sense of resolution".
"We believe that the court made a fair and just determination. However, the legal system does not and is not intended to fill the emotional void of our loss," the statement said.
“While this marks the end of another chapter of this unimaginable ordeal, the fact is that Kristy’s three girls are still without both of their parents, and our focus now is to support them as best we can."