A Utah man who was sentenced to 30 years in prison last month in beating his wife to death on an Alaska cruise was found dead in his prison cell last week, authorities said. Kenneth Manzanares, 43, who was convicted of murdering his wife Kristy in 2017, was found unresponsive in his cell in Juneau, Alaska on Wednesday morning.
He was pronounced dead shortly after, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections. Although, authorities haven't shared the exact reason behind Manzanares' death, they believe that there was no foul play involved in his death. Also, Covid-19 as a cause was rule out.
Manzanares was sentenced to 30 years in prison in early June after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for fatally beating his wife, Kristy Manzanares, 39, in 2017. The Manzanares family was abroad the Emerald Princess, when the husband beat Kristy to death in front of two of his daughters.
The fight between the couple started on the second night of the trip after they got into an explosive argument in their room and Kristy told her husband she wanted a divorce. She then asked her husband to get off the ship in Juneau and go back home, prosecutors had said.
The three children were then asked to shift to the adjoining room with other relatives. Kenneth then repeatedly punched Kristy thrice in the head, which was seen by the daughters form the adjoining room. When relatives called security, they saw Kenneth dragging Kristy's body toward the balcony, and intervened. Kristy could not be resuscitated by ship emergency workers, officials said.
Punished at Last
Kristy's death was ruled homicide following, which Kenneth was found guilty and sentenced. However, the tragic story now comes to an end with Kenneth's sudden death. Last Wednesday, Kenneth was also found unresponsive in his Alaska prison cell at about 7am local time. He was pronounced dead at 7.42am.
Life-saving measures were applied but he couldn't be revived. At the time of his death Kenneth was awaiting transfer to a federal facility. As of now police don't suspect foul play in death.
Kenneth had sought a far more lenient 7 1/2 year sentence, citing bipolar disorder and brain abnormalities but that didn't convince Judge Timothy Burgess, who announced his sentencing decision on June 1, slamming Manzanares' crimes violent and brutal.
His attorneys had said in a court filing that he had brain abnormalities that a defense expert deemed consistent with injuries caused by playing contact sports. This, combined with what was at the time an undiagnozed bipolar disorder and "a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence," the filing states.
Kenneth played football, wrestled and boxed when he was younger and had a history of "testosterone supplementation," the filing stated. However, Burgess said there was competing evidence offered about his culpability and that experts had failed to show what factors led to the crime, leading the judge to slap him with a 30-year sentence.