Attorneys seek later trial date for St. George man accused of murdering wife on cruise

Kenneth Manzanares stands accused of murdering his wife, 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares, on an Alaskan cruise ship July 25, 2017 | Composite photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Attorneys are asking a federal judge to delay until next May the trial for a St. George man accused of killing his wife on an Alaskan cruise last summer.

Kristy and Kenneth Manzanares, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Kristy Manzanares Facebook, St. George News

Attorneys for Kenneth Manzanares filed a written motion Friday asking that the trial date be pushed from November until May 2019, the Associated Press reported.

Kenneth Manzanares’ attorneys said the extra time is needed to go through extensive discovery and to complete their own investigation. They said prosecutors do not oppose the request.

Kenneth Manzanares’ mental state at the time of his wife’s death will likely be a key issue, the attorneys said, noting that they are ethically obligated to conduct their own investigation into his background “for possible mental defenses.”

Kenneth Manzanares has been charged with murder in the July 2017 death of his wife, Kristy Manzanares, who was a 39-year-old St. George real estate agent and the mother of three daughters.

He pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge in August 2017.

The couple, who had been married for more than 20 years, were traveling aboard the Emerald Princess with a large group of family members, including their three daughters, on a weeklong cruise along the Alaskan panhandle.

Read more: FBI investigating after St. George woman murdered on cruise ship

Kristy Manzanares with her three daughters, photo location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Kristy Manzanares’ GoFundMe page, St. George News

On July 25, two days after the ship left Seattle, Washington, Kristy Manzanares was found dead in the couple’s cabin with a severe head wound as the cruise ship traveled between Ketchikan and Juneau, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Michael L. Watson. Blood was reportedly spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces.

A family member saw Kenneth Manzanares with blood-stained hands and clothing and asked him what had happened, to which Kenneth Manzanares allegedly replied, “She would not stop laughing at me,” according to the complaint.

Read more: St. George resident on Alaskan cruise recounts night Kristy Manzanares was murdered

“Later, when Manzanares was being processed during a search by the FBI for physical evidence, he spontaneously stated, ‘My life is over,’” Watson stated in the report.

In November 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that it would not to pursue the death penalty against Kenneth Manzanares.

Becky Bohrer of the Associated Press contributed to this report from Juneau, Alaska.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • comments May 26, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    “they was such a nice couple” durrhurr

  • PlanetU May 27, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Gee, “I wonder who did it” since he pleaded “not guilty?” Was there anyone else in the cabin???? no………So, we have to investigate his “mental defense” since that’s all his attorney’s can think of….

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