A Utah man who murdered his wife on an anniversary cruise four years ago has died in prison six weeks after he was sentenced to 30 years for the crime. The Alaska Department of Corrections says 43-year-old Kenneth Manzanares was found unresponsive in his cell in a correctional facility in Juneau Wednesday and medical staff were unable to revive him, KUTV reports. Officials have not confirmed a cause of death, but they say foul play is not suspected and the death was not COVID-related. Manzaneres, who had been in state custody since the day after the July 25, 2017, murder in waters near Juneau, was awaiting transfer to a federal facility.
The death—the seventh in state DOC custody this year—will be investigated by state troopers and the medical examiner's office, officials said in a press release. Manzanares pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year, reports the St. George News. Prosecutors said he beat wife Kristy Manzanares to death after they argued about his behavior and she told him she wanted a divorce. Two of the couple's three daughters heard the attack from an adjoining cabin. Kristy Manzaneres' father and two brothers stopped Manzanares as he tried to throw her body overboard from the Emerald Princess cruise ship, according to court documents. "No excuse can justify the savagery committed by this man," said FBI agent Robert Britt after he was sentenced last month. (Read more Alaska stories.)