Pelosi attacker David DePape found guilty on five state-level charges

 June 22, 2024

In October 2022, a man named David DePape broke into the San Francisco home of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and physically assaulted her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer in a horrifying incident captured as it occurred by a police bodycam video.

A trial in state court ended on Friday with a jury unanimously finding DePape guilty on five separate criminal charges that stemmed from the violent attack, according to CBS News.

Per the outlet, the jury declared DePape guilty of "aggravated kidnapping resulting in bodily harm or death, false imprisonment of an elder or dependent adult, threatening family of public officials, first-degree residential burglary, and preventing or dissuading a witness by force or threat."

Guilty on all remaining counts

According to prosecutors and the defendant's own admissions, he broke into the California home of then-Speaker Pelosi to ostensibly kidnap and torture or kill her, only to find that she was in Washington D.C. at the time and her husband was the only one home.

Local police were summoned but an altercation ensued once they arrived over a hammer DePape was holding, which he used to bash Pelosi over the head and cause fractures to his skull and other injuries to his hands and arms.

DePape had initially been charged with additional criminal counts, including attempted murder, but Courthouse News reported earlier in June that the presiding judge agreed to dismiss three of those counts, including the attempted murder charge as well as charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

The judge apparently agreed with DePape's public defender attorney that facing those particular charges would amount to double jeopardy, or being tried for the same crime twice, since he had already been convicted on similar counts in a federal trial that had just recently concluded with sentencing a few weeks earlier.

Already sentenced to 30 years in prison following federal conviction

The Associated Press reported in May that DePape was sentenced by a federal judge to serve 30 years in prison following his conviction in November by a federal jury on charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official.

That included maximum sentences of 30 years for the assault and 20 years for the attempted kidnapping, to be served concurrently, with credit for the 18 months he'd already served while held in custody awaiting trial.

Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year sentence while the defense had requested just 14 years, given his lack of a prior criminal record and previously undiagnosed mental health issues.

Defense attorney questions last-minute charges

CBS News reported that once the verdict in the state trial was announced, DePape's public defender, Adam Lipson, expressed his disappointment in the result and questioned some of the charges that prosecutors added at the last moment after the three other charges had been dismissed by the judge a few weeks earlier.

"Disappointed with the verdict, obviously. I don't believe that this was a kidnapping for ransom. I think that it's really unfortunate it was charged this way," Lipson said. "It was sort of a textbook vindictive prosecution. As soon as they found out that the attempted murder charge was going to be dismissed, they added this charge."

Through a spokesperson, the Pelosi family heralded the verdict and praised Paul Pelosi for his "bravery" during the attack as well as his "extraordinary courage and fortitude" during his recovery from the grievous injuries he received.

It is unclear when DePape will face sentencing following his state-level conviction or how much time behind bars he will be given, but his attorney said it was a distinct possibility that he could spend the remainder of his life in a California prison after he first completed his federal prison sentence.

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