Dad jailed for beating wife to death in front of kids in cruise ship divorce row

A dad who killed his wife in front of his kids in a cruise ship cabin has been jailed for 30 years.

Kenneth Manzanares, 43, pleaded guilty last year to murdering his wife Kristy Manzanares, 39, in response to her declaring that she wanted a divorce.

Manzanares whose mental state left him barely capable of remembering the brutal beating, told police he saw red because "would not stop laughing at me".

The family from Utah, US, were aboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship near south-east Alaska on July 25, 2017, when Kenneth viciously punched his wife to death, to the horror of the couple's daughters.

A federal judge in Juneau, Alaska on Thursday sentenced Kenneth Manzanares to 30 years in prison on first-degree murder charges, FoxNews reports.

Shockingly, staff who came across the bloody scene in the couple’s cabin thought it might have been part of the night’s murder-mystery-themed dinner.

Manzanares' defence attorney Jamie McGrady previously described her client's injuries and mental state as a 'perfect storm' for the murder.

MS McGrady said: "What happened that night on the ship is what can only be described as a perfect storm— Kenny’s brain injury, combined with his undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder and a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in an aberrant episode of violence."

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She added that Manzanares played contact sports through college and had multiple concussions.

In the sentencing memo, McGrady said Manzanares’ of his wife — and claimed her client is extremely remorseful.

The motion stated: "Manzanares appreciates the gravity of what he has done.

"He understands the profound loss that his children, their family, and the community feel as a result of Kristy’s death. He also lost the love of his life, and he now must bear that responsibility for the rest of his life.

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"Throughout his incarceration, Kenny has struggled to understand this tragedy.

"Although he has come to understand more about himself, his impairments and deficits, he knows it is no excuse and this explanation will likely give no comfort to those who loved his wife."

In addition to the murder-mystery confusion, guests on the ship thought the captain's urgent announcement for crew to rush to the room, was part of the entertainment.

Passenger Megan Morr said: "The captain announced, 'Everyone, we need all medical, security, all personnel to deck nine and deck 14'.

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"He was very worked up. People were running through the hall with blood all over them."

When Kenneth and Kristy first started rowing, the dad told his children to leave the couple’s cabin, but they later heard "blood-curdling" screams and tried to force their way back inside.

Shortly afterwards, security and medics were called to the room – but Kristy could not be saved.

An autopsy later found she had been killed by blunt-force trauma to her head and face.

When asked what happened, Manzanares told cops he snapped because his wife "would not stop laughing at me".

Manzanares later admitted in June, Alaska, that he hit the mum-of-three "once with a closed fist, seeing blood and striking another time".

He later claimed to have no memory of the attack and told detectives: "My life is over."

If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge 's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247

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