The defendant in a federal case of a Utah man charged with killing his wife aboard a cruise ship has waived his right to speedy trial in court Monday. This pushes a potential trial in U.S. District Court back months.
Kenneth Ray Manzanares is charged with first-degree murder of his wife, Kristy Manzanares, during a Southeast Alaska cruise. He pleaded not guilty in August.
Manzanares’ public defender Jamie McGrady proposed the motion to declare the case complex, citing the potential for a death penalty, the geographic challenges with witnesses and the anticipation of several hundred interviews. The motion was unopposed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt said his office would need a minimum of 90 days before determining a trial length. Both attorneys estimated it would take several weeks.
Schmidt also said his office would seek a 45-day extension with the Department of Justice on whether to pursue the death penalty.
U.S. District Chief Judge Timothy Burgess set a new pre-trial hearing for April 23.
Alaska does not have the death penalty, but because the death occurred in territorial waters and is being tried in federal court, capital punishment is a possibility.
It’s also the first day of jury selection in Jim Wayne Thornhill’s child pornography case in the U.S. District Court.
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