Attorneys for Kenneth Manzanares are hoping to reach a plea agreement and avoid a trial.
Kenneth Manzanares was charged with murder in the death of his wife during an Alaskan cruise in 2017.
Manzanares, a Utah resident, is accused of killing his wife while the couple was traveling on the Princess Cruises ship, the Emerald Princess.
The cruise line revealed that Kristy Manzanares died around 9PM on Tuesday, July 25, 2017 while the boat was in U.S. waters traveling from Ketchikan to Juneau, Alaska.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was called in to conduct an investigation, interviewing nearly 200 passengers and crewmembers. The FBI was contacted by a Holland American Group Company Security Officer, informing the FBI about a possible homicide aboard the Emerald Princess. The FBI filed for an affidavit in support of a search warrant related a complaint charging Kenneth Manzanares with murder, in violation of Title 18, United States Code llll(a).
Princess Cruises is part of Holland America Group, a subsidiary owned by Carnival Corporation.
Kristy Manzanares was found dead in the couple’s cabin and was pronounced dead by the cruise ship medical staff.
According to reports, Mrs. Manzanares suffered from a severe head wound. “Blood was spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces,” per news articles at the time.
A security officer aboard the Emerald Princess discovered blood on Kenneth Manzanares’ hands and clothing, and secured him in handcuffs in an adjacent cabin.
A number of people had previously entered the Manzanares’ room, Judy wrote. One of them told security officers that he saw Kristy Manzanares “lying on the floor covered in blood.”
“(The witness) asked Kenneth Manzanares what had happened to which Manzanares replied, ‘She would not stop laughing at me,’” Judy wrote.
The witness said he saw Kenneth Manzanares drag his wife towards the balcony. The witness then said he grabbed the ankles of Kenneth Manzanares’ wife’s body and pulled her back into the cabin.
Emerald Princess passenger Charles Rowlen told KTVA he and his wife were in a room two floors above where the incident took place Tuesday night.
“It was evening for us, I had turned in and my wife was taking a shower and I heard terrible screaming, I mean you knew it wasn’t normal,” Rowlen said. “And it sounded like two or three ladies or girls, definitely women screaming.”
Rowlen said his wife looked over the balcony and saw a man, bruised, cut and covered in blood.
“My wife’s a registered nurse, she thought he was going to jump over the rail, and at one point he put his hand on the rail and set his rear on it, but she started yelling get back in and the ship announced, get a security team to that area,” he said.
According to a recent Associated Press article on KTVA.com in Alaska, “his attorneys, in court filings, say they sought expert help in examining Manzanares. They say tests that were done addressed Manzanares’ mental state at the time of his wife’s death, which they say is a critical component for any resolution.”
While unusual, murder on cruise ships does occur, sometimes between passengers, between crewmembers and between crew and passengers. Wrongful death cases are certainly headline makers, but are devastating for the families and friends of the victim. Personal injury lawyers work tremendously hard in these case to find legal justice for their clients.