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Man sentenced to 30 years in cruise ship killing dies in Alaska prison

Kenneth Manzanares killed his wife on a cruise ship after she told him she wanted a divorce.

A Utah man sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his wife on a cruise ship was found dead in an Alaska jail this week, the state corrections department said.

Kenneth Manzanares, 43, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau around 7 a.m. Wednesday and could not be revived, the Alaska Department of Corrections said.

He was sentenced on June 3 to a 30-year federal prison term after pleading guilty to killing his wife, Kristy Manzanares, during a 2017 family vacation aboard the Emerald Princess.

The corrections department said foul play was not suspected in Kenneth Manzanares' death.

Department spokeswoman Betsy Holley said inmates' medical conditions are confidential. Manzanares was being held at the state facility until he was transferred to federal prison, she said.

All prisoner deaths are reviewed by the Alaska State Troopers and the state medical examiner's office, the department said.

The medical examiner's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. A spokesperson for the state troopers said a preliminary investigation found no suspicious circumstances but the medical examiner would determine the cause of death.

Manzanares killed his wife as the family was on a vacation on the Emerald Princess after Kristy Manzanares told him in their cabin that she wanted a divorce and she wanted him to get off the ship at Juneau.

Kenneth Manzanares told others to leave the cabin and then struck his wife with his fists repeatedly, killing her, he admitted in a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder.

Defense attorneys argued that Manzanares had an undiagnosed brain injury and mood disorder and that a combination of prescription medication and alcohol led to the violence. They said he did not remember most of the attack.

But prosecutors said the attack was deliberate and pointed out that he told others to leave the cabin and locked the door before the assault.

Requests for comment from attorneys who represented Manzanares in the criminal case were not immediately returned Friday.