AP

Attorneys seek plea agreement in cruise ship death case

Aug 6, 2019, 3:51 PM | Updated: 4:03 pm

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Attorneys for a Utah man accused of killing his wife on a cruise to Alaska in 2017 have filed a notice of intent to change his plea.

Kenneth Manzanares was charged with murder in the death of his wife, Kristy. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His attorneys, in a filing with a federal court, said the parties involved in the case are working to finalize the details of a plea agreement. They asked for a court date in November.

A message seeking comment was left for Rich Curtner, one of Manzanares’ attorneys. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt said Tuesday he could provide no further details.

In February, another of Manzanares’ attorneys, Jamie McGrady, told a federal judge the parties hoped to reach an agreement on a plea and avoid a trial.

Only a few details about the case have been released publicly since the initial charging documents were filed. In an affidavit filed shortly after Kristy Manzanares’ death, FBI Special Agent Michael Watson said she was found in a blood-splattered cabin aboard the ship with a severe head wound. He said witnesses saw Manzanares with blood on his hands and clothes. He said one witness asked Manzanares what happened, to which he replied, “She would not stop laughing at me.”

Manzanares’ attorneys, in a filing earlier this year, said they had testing done by experts that addressed Manzanares’ mental state at the time of his wife’s death, which they said was a critical element for any resolution.

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Attorneys seek plea agreement in cruise ship death case