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Crime & Courts

Anchorage man charged in pepper spray attack now facing perjury charges

Bret Maness is arraigned in front of Judge Douglas Kossler for terroristic threats, assault and burglary at the Anchorage Jail Court in on April 27. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)

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.

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.

After spending about 90 minutes inside Bret Maness’ apartment on April 26, APD officers and federal agents emerged with a box and paper bag, which they loaded into the back of an APD vehicle. (Matt Tunseth / Alaska Star)

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.

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.

According to property manager Kim Graham, Bret Maness lived in an apartment above Tips bar in Eagle River. Maness was arrested outside the building on April 26. (Matt Tunseth / Alaska Star)

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