David DePape facing 50 years at sentencing Friday

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — On Friday, a sentencing hearing will be held for David DePape, the man who broke into former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco house seeking to hold her hostage. When DePape realized that Pelosi was not home, he bludgeoned her husband with a hammer on October 28, 2022.

Federal prosecutors are asking U.S. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley to sentence DePape to a 40-year prison sentence.

He has not shown any remorse for the attack, prosecutors wrote in court documents. “There is nothing about the history and characteristics of the defendant that warrant leniency. The defendant has admitted — indeed bragged — that he knew what he was doing,” court documents state.

David DePape records a nude wedding outside San Francisco City Hall on Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo / Eric Risberg / File)
David DePape records a nude wedding outside San Francisco City Hall on Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo / Eric Risberg / File)

DePape, 43, was convicted last year on federal charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official.

If Judge Corley decides to give DePape the maximum possible sentence, he could spend the next five decades in prison. The assault charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and the attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi happened just days before the midterm elections. Prosecutors said DePape was motivated by right-wing conspiracy theories that he learned about on YouTube. He lived inside a garage attached to a home in Richmond.

A police officer’s body camera video shows David DePape and Paul Pelosi struggling for control of a hammer on Oct. 28, 2022. (SFPD image)
A police officer’s body camera video shows David DePape and Paul Pelosi struggling for control of a hammer on Oct. 28, 2022. (SFPD image)

DePape admitted during trial testimony that he broke into the Pelosis’ home intending to end government corruption, hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, and “break her kneecaps” if she lied to him. DePape said he beat Mr. Pelosi with a hammer after police showed up at the home and his plan was unraveling. The attack was recorded on two San Francisco Police Department officers’ body-worn cameras.

“I reacted because my plan was basically ruined,” DePape said on the stand.

DePape testified about how his political leanings went from leftist to right-wing after reading comments on a YouTube video about former President Donald Trump. He planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume, video tape his interrogation of Nancy Pelosi, and upload it online, DePape told the jury. His list of political targets included Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff, Hunter Biden, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, trial evidence showed.

Paul Pelosi delivers chilling testimony in DePape trial

Mr. Pelosi also testified for the trial. He said he woke up in bed, saw a “very large man” standing in the bedroom doorway with a hammer and zip ties, and immediately realized he was in “serious danger,” Mr. Pelosi testified.

Prosecutors wrote, “When the police arrived, Mr. Pelosi opened the door and the police ordered DePape to drop the hammer he was holding. Instead, DePape struck Mr. Pelosi three times with full force.”

US Representative Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) and Paul Pelosi arrive for an official State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
US Representative Nancy Pelosi (D- CA) and Paul Pelosi arrive for an official State Dinner at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Nancy Pelosi’s husband suffered a fractured skull and woke up in a pool of his own blood. Officers tackled DePape to the ground.

U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey previously told reporters, “Violence has no place in politics. In America, one is free to believe whatever they want, and to engage in passionate political debate. Regardless of what your beliefs are, what you cannot do is physically attack a member of Congress, or their immediate family, for their performance of their job. We look forward to the sentence phase.”

David DePape’s creepy conversation with Pelosi detailed in court documents

DePape’s sentencing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday in the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.

David DePape testifies at his federal trial in San Francisco on Nov. 14, 2023. (Courtroom sketch courtesy Vicki Behringer)
David DePape testifies at his federal trial in San Francisco on Nov. 14, 2023. (Courtroom sketch courtesy Vicki Behringer)

DePape also has a second trial coming up for criminal charges filed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office in connection to the hammer attack. District Attorney Brooke Jenkins charged DePape with six felony counts: premeditated attempted murder, burglary, inflicting injury on an elder likely to cause great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and threatening a family member of a public official.

Jury selection for his next trial is scheduled to begin on May 22. Opening statements from prosecutors and defense attorneys are slated to stretch over nine days, court officials said. The trial is expected to end in late June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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