Prosecutors seeking plea deal for St. George man accused of killing wife on cruise ship

Kenneth Manzanares (right) is 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 — A plea deal appears to be in the works from federal prosecutors in the case of a man accused of killing his wife on a cruise ship.

St. George resident Kenneth Manzanares was charged with murder after his wife Kristy Manzanares was found dead with a severe head wound on July 25, 2017, while they were abroad a cruise ship near Alaska. Because the death happened on open seas, Manzanares is facing federal charges.

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

According to court documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court of Alaska, federal prosecutors asked that upcoming deadlines in Manzanares’ case be cancelled.

“A modification of the pre-trial deadlines is necessary in this matter as the parties still do not anticipate a trial in this case and are actively working towards a negotiated resolution in this matter,” assistant U.S. attorney Jack Schmidt wrote in a motion to expedite.

When both federal prosecutors and Manzanares’ attorneys met in November 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Alaska stated it would not seek the death penalty if he was convicted.

Due to federal prosecutors asking for deadlines to be cancelled, it’s unclear whether the trial set for Sept. 9 will take place.

Manzanares’ attorneys didn’t object to cancelling the upcoming deadlines. In February, it was reported that his attorneys were also seeking a plea deal, and a trial that was formerly set for May 2019 was cancelled.

Manzanares pleaded not guilty in August 2017 after he was indicted in the death of his wife. People surrounding the couple’s cabin on the cruise ship reported hearing loud screaming, and a family member who found Kristy Manzanares’ body reported she saw Kenneth Manzanares drag her body toward a balcony on the ship.

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