A Utah man who was sentenced to 30 years in prison last month in beating his wife to death on an Alaska cruise has died in prison.

Kenneth Manzanares, 43, who was convicted of murder in the 2017 killing of his wife Kristy, was found unresponsive in his cell in Juneau, Alaska Wednesday morning, according to the Alaska Department of Corrections.

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Life-saving measures were attempted but he was later pronounced dead, the department said.

Manzanares is the seventh person to die in the department’s custody this year, according to the department, which said all deaths are reviewed by the Alaska State Troopers and state medical examiner’s office.

Betsy Holley, a department spokesperson, said by email Friday that information ‘related to an inmate’s medical condition is confidential,’ but said no foul play was suspected in Manzanares’ death.

She said Manzanares was alone in his cell at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau when he was found by officers at around 7am.

The department said the death was not Covid-19 related.

He was awaiting transfer to a federal facility.

Manzanares pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder in the beating death of his wife, 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares of Santa Clara, Utah, on a 2017 Alaska cruise.

The murder took place when couple, their three daughters and extended family were vacationing aboard the Emerald Princess and the two go into an explosive argument in their room and Kristy told her husband she wanted a divorce.

Court Judge Timothy Burgess announced his sentencing decision on June 1, slamming Manzanares’ crimes violent and brutal.

The 43-year-old had sought a far more lenient 7 1/2 year sentence, citing bipolar disorder and brain abnormalities.

His attorneys said in a court filing 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 undiagnosed bipolar disorder and ‘a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence,’ the filing states.

Manzanares played football, wrestled and boxed when he was younger and had a history of ‘testosterone supplementation,’ the filing stated.

But Burgess said there was competing evidence offered about Manzanares’ 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.



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