Wasilla man jailed after release from hospital

Posted: Thursday, July 05, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The Wasilla man who fled from Alaska State Troopers last week in his motor home and was later shot by Anchorage police appeared in court Tuesday and was sent to jail.

Bret Maness, 36, was convicted of drug and weapons violations in 1998 and sentenced to five years in prison in March 1999. Three months later, he was released on a $7,500 bond while he appealed. That case is before the Alaska Court of Appeals.

Troopers attempted to serve an involuntary psychiatric commitment order on Maness at about 1 a.m June 28. His wife had requested the order. Troopers said Maness verbally threatened them, took off in his Winnebago toward Anchorage, and fired three shots at them.

After the motor home was stopped on the Glenn Highway, Maness hid in the woods near Eklutna for about four hours before an Anchorage police officer shot him in the shoulder.

Maness was in court twice Tuesday. In a Superior Court hearing, Jay Fayette, assistant district attorney, asked that Maness forfeit his appeal bond because he was in possession of firearms and was out after a 10:30 p.m. curfew, which he said were violations of Maness' conditions of release. Judge Elaine Andrews declined that request but increased Maness' appeal bond to $100,000.

Donna McCready, Maness' attorney, told Andrews the incident occurred because his wife was concerned for his mental health and wanted to have him evaluated at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. McCready criticized troopers for choosing to serve the order so late at night and said they should not have been surprised that he didn't want to be taken away.

She disputed troopers' claim that Maness shot at them, noting Maness has not been charged with firing at anyone. She said police shot him in the back of the shoulder and called law enforcement's handling of the incident ''astounding.''

Maness was arraigned later Tuesday in District Court on charges of third-degree assault, eluding, coercion, weapons violations and reckless driving. The arraignment followed Maness' release Monday evening from Alaska Regional Hospital.

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