Paul Pelosi’s accused attacker David DePape has pleaded not guilty
David Depape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. An intruder attacked and severely beat the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer at the couple’s home in San Francisco on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, while searching for the leader a democrat. Police were called to the home to check on Paul Pelosi when they discovered the 82-year-old and the suspect, Depape, clutching a hammer, Police Chief William Scott said.
Michael Short | San Francisco Chronicle | AP
David DePape, the man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s residence and violently attacking her husband with a hammer, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges including attempted murder, according to NBC News.
DePape’s arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court came after Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old spouse of the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, remained hospitalized after an alleged attack early Friday morning.
The 42-year-old suspect was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on numerous state charges, including attempted murder, burglary, assault and false imprisonment, after being released from the hospital.
The Ministry of Justice also has charged DePape with two federal crimesattempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on an immediate family member of a United States official with the intent to retaliate against the official, according to his criminal complaint.
DePape was unshaven and had long hair at his first court appearance, NBC reports. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit and his arm was in a sling due to a dislocated shoulder, his public defender Adam Lipson told reporters after a brief hearing Tuesday afternoon.
DePape is currently being held without bail, Lipson said, adding that another hearing is scheduled for Friday.
DePape told police he was on a “suicide mission” and planned to target other California and federal politicians, according to a court filing Tuesday in which prosecutors detailed the attack as part of their effort to keep DePape behind bars.
DePape reportedly said he had other targets, including a local professor, as well as several prominent state and federal politicians — and their family members.
The filing also alleges that Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious by the hammer attack and woke up in a pool of his own blood.
Wearing orange prison garb, DePape spoke only to tell Judge Diane Northway how to pronounce his last name (dih-PAP’). The 42-year-old accused is due back in court on Friday.
After the hearing, Lipson said he looked forward to providing a “robust defense” to DePape. He also said he first met DePape on Monday night and had not yet seen the police reports.
The lawyer also offered his best wishes to Paul Pelosi, who is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured skull.
Lipson declined to offer details about his defense strategy, but noted that there has been “a lot of speculation about Mr. DePape’s vulnerability to disinformation, and that is certainly something we will look into.”
The San Francisco district attorney said Monday that the attack on Pelosi’s residence appeared to be “politically motivated.”
Paul Pelosi told an officer after the attack that DePape woke him up in his bedroom early Friday morning and said I wanted to talk to “Nancy,” according to a federal statement.
Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, DC at the time. Paul Pelosi managed to call 9-1-1, and when officers arrived, DePape hit him with a hammer, authorities said.
DePape himself later told police he saw the House speaker as “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party,” according to the affidavit. He said he wanted to hold her hostage and talk to her, and if she lied, he would break her kneecaps, the document states.
DePape arrived at the San Francisco home carrying zip ties, tape, rope and at least one hammer, according to the affidavit.
— The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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