Man convicted of attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer is to be sentenced

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The man convicted of attempting to kidnap then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacking her husband with a hammer is set to be sentenced in federal court.

SAN FRANCISCO — The man convicted of attempting to kidnap then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and attacking her husband with a hammer is set to be sentenced in federal court Friday.

Jurors found David DePape, 44, guilty in November of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. Prosecutors have asked Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley for a 40-year prison term.

DePape admitted during trial testimony that he broke into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home Oct. 28, 2022, intending to hold the speaker hostage and “break her kneecaps” if she lied to him. He also acknowledged bludgeoning Paul Pelosi with a hammer after police showed up, saying his plan to end what he viewed as government corruption was unraveling.

The attack on Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, was captured on police body camera video just days before the midterm elections and sent shockwaves through the political world.

Defense attorneys argued DePape was motivated by his political beliefs, not because he wanted to interfere with the speaker’s official duties as a member of Congress, making the charges against him invalid.

One of his attorneys, Angela Chuang, said during closing arguments that DePape was caught up in conspiracy theories.

At trial DePape, a Canadian who moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago, testified he believed news outlets repeatedly lied about former President Donald Trump. In rants posted on a blog and online forum that were taken down after his arrest, DePape echoed the baseless, right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon, which claims that a cabal of devil-worshipping pedophiles runs the U.S. government.

DePape also told jurors he had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and record his interrogation of the Democratic speaker, who was not at the home at the time of the attack, to upload it online.

Prosecutors said he had rope and zip ties with him, and detectives found body cameras, a computer and a tablet.

Paul Pelosi also testified at the trial, recalling how he was awakened by a large man bursting into the bedroom and asking, “Where’s Nancy?” He said when he responded that his wife was in Washington, DePape said he would tie him up while they waited for her.

“It was a tremendous sense of shock to recognize that somebody had broken into the house, and looking at him and looking at the hammer and the ties, I recognized that I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” Pelosi told jurors.

Pelosi suffered two head wounds in the attack, including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand also were injured.

DePape is also charged in state court with assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other felonies. Jury selection in that trial is expected to start May 22.

Man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi pleads ‘not guilty’ to 6 felony charges

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.