Troopers close Glenn Highway during manhunt

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Wasilla man with a violent past was shot and taken into custody Thursday morning after a manhunt that closed a portion of the Glenn Highway for more than six hours.

Troopers spokesman Greg Wilkinson said Bret Maness, 36, was taken into custody about 7:20 a.m. Maness was rushed by ambulance to Alaska Regional Hospital.

Troopers did not know where or how many times Maness had been hit. Maness' family requested that no information be released on his condition.

Maness shot and killed a next-door neighbor in Anchorage in November 1997. He claimed self-defense and was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges. The same jury convicted him of weapons and drug charges and he was sentenced to eight years in prison with three suspended.

Troopers said the incident Thursday began at around 1:15 a.m. when Palmer troopers attempted to serve a commitment order on Maness to take him to Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

Maness was in a motor home outside his home when troopers arrived.

As troopers approached Maness' residence, he drove off in the motor home. Troopers followed and Maness fired three shots from his motor home, Wilkinson said.

Maness refused to respond to troopers use of lights and sirens and would not pull over.

Troopers followed Maness to the Glenn Highway, and at Mile 30, set up spikes. The motor home hit the spikes, began losing air in the tires, and pulled off the road at around Mile 29.5.

Maness ran out of the motor home carrying a rifle and fled into the woods.

Troopers and Anchorage police were unable to see Maness because of darkness but set up a containment zone around the area.

At 3 a.m., spotters in a fixed wing aircraft saw Maness walking along a power line toward Anchorage.

Troopers and APD tracked Maness along the highway. They said he would occasionally run into the woods, before coming out to travel farther south. Wilkinson said the pattern continued until 7:20 a.m., when he was confronted by officers and shot by an Anchorage police officer.

Troopers said Maness was later charged with third-degree assault, third-degree weapons misconduct, first-degree felony eluding, coercion and reckless driving. Bail was set at $100,000 cash only.

Troopers closed the Glenn Highway between Eklutna and the Parks Highway intersection near Wasilla at 1:30 a.m. They partially opened the highway to one-way traffic after 5 a.m. Southbound traffic moved on the hour and northbound traffic moved on the half-hour.

All traffic restrictions were removed within an hour after Maness was taken into custody.

Maness trial in 1998 lasted six weeks.

Prosecutors said Maness provoked next-door neighbor Delbert White by shooting a pellet gun at his house on the morning of Nov. 21, 1997.

When White, 32, came over to complain, Maness fatally shot him, assistant district attorney Eric Aarseth said at the time. Prosecutors said Maness was paranoid about having his marijuana-grow operation discovered.

Within his apartment, Maness had 66 mature marijuana plants and a small arsenal of strategically placed weapons, according to police.

Maness' attorney, Donna McCready, contended that Maness shot White in self-defense after White angrily attacked him.

Both sides acknowledged that Maness and his downstairs neighbor, Paul Hackett, grappled with White in Maness' driveway before Maness shot White in the head with an assault rifle.



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