Seward Journal logo-color

Prosecutors have dismissed a charge of third-degree assault filed against Thomas William Maness stemming from an incident at the Seward Marine Industrial Center earlier this year. 

Maness, 40, did not respond to attempts to contact him. His attorney, Steven J. Priddle, said the case had been flawed from the get go.

“The allegations against him were falsely given, and there wasn’t any evidence to support them,” Priddle said. “It was a bullshit case out of the gate, and it didn’t survive scrutiny.”

Priddle also criticized the Journal’s original reporting on the incident, saying it had cast Maness in an unflattering light.

“Write something nice about Mr. Maness,” Priddle said. “The original stories weren’t so flattering – seemed like more of a witch hunt than objective reporting of local events.”

The Jan. 28 incident revolved around an altercation between Maness and another man at the Seward Marine Industrial Center. Walter Suomela, 67, called 911 twice that day to report threatening behavior by Maness, according to the charging documents.

Court records indicate that Suomela said Maness had brandished a revolver, the origin of the third-degree assault charge. The calls brought five law enforcement officers, including city police and state troopers, to the ship yard.

Reached by phone, Suomela had no comment on the case.