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.
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.
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.
“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.
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