David DePape Found Guilty of All State Charges for 2022 Paul Pelosi Attack

Rachel Acenas
By Rachel Acenas
June 21, 2024US News
David DePape Found Guilty of All State Charges for 2022 Paul Pelosi Attack
David Depape in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

The man who attacked former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer has been convicted on five state charges.

A state jury in San Francisco found David DePape, 44, guilty of first-degree burglary, false imprisonment, threatening a family member of a public official, aggravated kidnapping, and preventing or dissuading a witness by force or threat.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jurors began deliberations on the afternoon of June 18 and reached their verdict June 21.

The judge in the case previously dismissed three other charges against Mr. DePape. The charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse were dropped after his defense team claimed double jeopardy because the defendant was already convicted in federal court last November.

He was charged with assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official.

He was sentenced to 30 years in the federal case.

The October 2022 attack was recorded on police body camera and eventually released to the public.

The footage showed the defendant inside the couple’s San Francisco home after he broke in. Mr. DePape and Mr. Pelosi appeared to be fighting for control of the hammer. Officers demanded Mr. DePape immediately drop the weapon, but he hit the victim in the head instead, the footage showed.

The former House Speaker was in Washington, D.C., at the time. The attack happened just days before the midterm election.

Mr. Pelosi, who was 82 years old at the time, suffered a skull fracture and injuries to his right arm and hand. The victim testified in federal court that he abruptly woke up to a man armed with a hammer and zip ties who asked where his wife was. Mr. Pelosi managed to call 911.

NTD Photo
The husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi (R), fights for control of a hammer with his assailant David DePape during a brutal attack in the couple’s San Francisco home on Oct. 28, 2022, in a still from police body-camera video. (San Francisco Police Department via AP)

Not ‘Intended Target’

Mr. DePape’s lawyer, Adam Lipson, told the jury that Mr. Pelosi was not his intended target.

“When he broke into the Pelosis’ home, his intent was to confront and potentially hurt and assault Nancy Pelosi,” he said. “That was his intent at that time, that has nothing to do with Mr. Pelosi,” the public defender stated.

He also said that his client led a lonely life that was consumed with thoughts of conspiracy theories. Mr. DePape was first exposed to such ideas by the mother of his two children who often isolated him, his public defender explained to jurors.

Meanwhile, prosecutors had argued that Mr. DePape testified during the federal trial that he planned to get a video of Mrs. Pelosi’s confession of crimes he believed she committed. His plan was to post that confession on the internet, prosecutors told the jury.

His lawyer plans to appeal the case. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled, but he could spend the rest of his life in a California prison following his 30-year federal sentence.