An abusive Utah husband has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on Thursday, June 3, for allegedly beating his wife to death in front of their children during a 2017 family cruise to Alaska.

The suspect, Kenneth Manzanares, 43, reportedly pleaded guilty in February 2020 to the murder of his 39-year-old wife Kristy Manzanares, while they were holidaying with their three daughters and extended family on the Emerald Princess cruise ship in U.S. Territorial Waters outside southeast Alaska on July 25, 2017.

The couple was reportedly celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary when the brutal incident happened, reported NBC News.

Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Wilson for the District of Alaska had said that the crime demonstrated a “chilling neglect for human life.”

The couple reportedly got into a heated argument in their room that night as Kristy told her abusive husband that she wanted a divorce. She also allegedly asked him to leave the cruise once it arrives at Juneau port and go back to Utah by himself, according to court documents.

The couple’s daughters, who were locked by the father into a relative’s room adjoining their cabin, allegedly heard their mother scream and ask for help during the violent confrontation. The children attempted to get into the cabin through an adjoining door, but Manzanares held them off by shouting at them not to come into the room, federal prosecutors said.

Through a connected balcony between the cabins, the daughters witnessed Manzanares hit his wife repeatedly in the head with his closed fists while straddling and pinning her down, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska said.

According to a criminal complaint, Manzanares was allegedly heard muttering "she would not stop laughing at me" while mounting the savage attack.

Manzanares reportedly had earlier sought a lenient seven-year sentence, citing bipolar disorder and mental health issues in what spurred him to commit the brutal mauling in diminished responsibility.

The assailant's attorneys, in a court filing, reportedly claimed that Manzanares suffers from brain damage that was caused by playing heavy contact sports as a young man. The defense said that these abnormalities coupled with undiagnosed bipolar disorder and “a problematic combination of prescribed medication and alcohol resulted in the episode of violence,” the filing stated.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess dismissed the claims slamming Manzanares' crimes as violent and brutal, sentencing him to 30 years in federal prison. Manzanares will reportedly have to spend an additional five years of supervised release after completing his prison sentence, reported The Independent.

Manzanares had admitted to having anger issues, repeatedly restraining his wife in the past, and punching holes in the walls of their home, prosecutors said.

Kristy's father, Jeff Hunt, said that he hopes Manzanares "gets what he deserves" and asked the judge to send his daughter's killer to prison for the rest of his life.

Manzanares was arrested and held in federal custody from the date of his wife's murder until he was sentenced. He initially pleaded not guilty in August 2017, reported Daily Mail.

An abusive husband from Utah has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for allegedly beating his wife to death in front of their children during a 2017 family cruise to Alaska. This is a representational image. Pixabay

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