Kenneth Manzanares pleaded guilty on Friday to the brutal cruise ship murder of his wife, according to PEOPLE.
As RadarOnline.com reported in 2017, Kenneth and spouse Kristy were traveling on The Alaskan Emerald Princess with their children when the shocking crime occurred.
He allegedly attacked his wife in their cabin, killing her.
Kristy was discovered bloody and murdered on the floor of their room on the ship. “[Blood was] spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces,” according to a federal arrest affidavit.
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Utah native Kenneth was arrested for the crime and relatives were shocked. One told Radar at the time that Kenneth was previously known for being super “laid back.”
According to the criminal complaint, the mother of three suffered a “severe head wound.”
When a family member questioned Kenneth on what had happened, he allegedly responded, “she would not stop laughing at me.”
Witnesses initially thought the incident was a hoax, because the cruise featured a murder mystery theme.
Now, PEOPLE has reported that Kenneth pleaded guilty to one count of murder in the second degree, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Alaska revealed in a press release.
Kenneth entered the plea agreement — filed in federal court on Monday — which says he beat Kristy to death.
According to Kenneth in his plea, the two had an argument after Kristy told her husband she wanted a divorce, the press release said.
Kenneth said in the plea that Kristy also told him to leave the cruise ship and travel back home to Utah.
He said in the plea that he asked a minor child and the couple’s daughter to leave the room. Kenneth then hit Kristy with a closed fist.
As PEOPLE noted, the Manzanareses’ daughter heard Kristy’s screams and attempted to go back in the cabin but Kenneth told her not to.
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Kristy’s brothers arrived and saw Kenneth dragging her towards the balcony and brought her back into the room, where she was later pronounced dead after emergency workers couldn’t revive her.
Her cause of death was blunt force trauma to her head and face.
Kenneth faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or both, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in the release.
He will be sentenced in late May.