Crime & Courts

Anchorage man charged in pepper spray attack now facing perjury charges

Bret Fletcher Maness, an Anchorage man with a violent history and apparent neo-Nazi ties, is accused of walking into the Anchorage Community House on April 21 and firing a large can of bear spray at 11 people who were learning about nonviolent protest.

Maness now faces three new felony perjury charges, filed Wednesday, based on grand jury testimony Maness gave that the grand jury felt was untrue.

[Anchorage man with violent history arrested in Spenard pepper-spray attack]

Among the false statements made by Maness, the indictment says, was a claim that he was "attacked or mobbed by the people inside" the building.

He now faces 15 criminal charges, according to court documents: one count of first-degree terroristic threatening, three counts of perjury and 11 counts of fourth-degree assault.

Maness doesn't have an attorney. He is representing himself.

[Man charged in pepper spray attack attempted to recruit others to 'storm' Anchorage gay pride parades]


During Friday's brief hearing, Superior Court Judge Erin Marston repeatedly asked Maness whether he'd like to have a public defender represent him.

"It's very rare that I have people in felony land represent themselves," Marston told Maness.

Each time, Maness refused, saying he could not afford associated costs of having a public defender, which he said would cause his Permanent Fund dividend check to be garnished.

"I do not want a public pretender at this point — defender — cause I can't afford one," Maness said.

"OK, once again, you're correct, there can be a charge at the end of the case, but it's usually somewhere between …" Marston started to say.

"I have experience with that, sir," Maness interjected. "I've been charged with hundreds of offenses by the state in the last 25 years. I've been convicted of possession of pot in a murder trial in 1997, and I've been charged thousands and thousands of dollars in public defenders, and I'm not interested in one."

"OK," Marston said.

[From 1998 archives: Bret Maness acquitted in Spenard murder but found guilty on 3 other charges]

Maness entered a not guilty plea. His next court hearing was set for June 18. He remained in custody Friday, with bail set at $7,500 cash performance and $15,000 cash appearance, plus electronic monitoring, should he post bail.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.