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Judge rejects plea deal for suspect in pepper spray attack

August 13, 2019

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A judge has rejected a plea arrangement for the Anchorage man suspected of pepper-spraying a group training for non-violent protest.

KTVA-television reports Superior Judge Patrick McKay last week rejected a plea agreement made between prosecutors and 54-year-old Bret Maness (MAN-ess), who is charged with assault.

MacKay says he wants Maness to undergo a mental health assessment.

MacKay also says future hearings should be scheduled in front of Judge Catherine Easter, who has handled most of the proceedings.

The protest group in April 2018 was training at a church when a man entered and discharged an orange spray. People inside had to be treated by city medics.

Defense attorney Regan Williams says Maness mistook a role-playing exercise for violence. He says Maness was knocked down and the pepper spray went off.

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Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.com

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