Trial delayed for Utah man in Alaska cruise ship murder

SALT LAKE CITY — The upcoming trial for a Utah man accused of killing his wife onboard a cruise ship in Alaska is expected to be delayed.

In a court filing obtained by FOX 13 on Tuesday, Kenneth Manzanares’ attorneys ask for the case to be declared “complex,” allowing a trial to be delayed in the federal court system. They cite massive amounts of witness interviews and other evidence they have yet to see.

Kristy and Kenneth Manzanares. (Image via Facebook)

“At this time the only discovery provided consists of one videorecorded interview. According to the government, approximately 200 recorded interviews were conducted, and the U.S. Coast Guard has prepared over 100 written reports. Witnesses live all over the continental United States, and some are foreign witnesses,” Manzanares’ attorney, Rich Curtner, wrote.

“The investigation is ongoing. Agents are still interviewing friends and family members in Utah and other states. Those reports are expected to be provided to the government over the course of the next month.”

Manzanares has pleaded not guilty to a federal murder charge. He faces a potential death sentence, although the U.S. government has not yet decided if it will seek that penalty, lawyers wrote. Manzares was scheduled to go on trial Oct. 23, but it is not unusual for cases such as these to be delayed beyond the initial start date.

Manzanares is accused of killing his wife, Kristy, in July as they were on board a cruise ship in Alaska. According to FBI agents, witnesses reported seeing blood in the room and Kristy Manzanares had a severe head wound. Kenneth Manzanares reportedly said “she would not stop laughing at me.”

UPDATE Sept. 18: The judge agreed to the delay and scheduled a new trial date beginning April 23, 2018 for Kenneth Manzanares.