Man who attacked Pelosi's husband found guilty of kidnapping – and could face life in prison

By John Mercury June 22, 2024

A man who brutally attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was jailed for 30 years, has also been convicted of kidnapping and could spend the rest of his life in prison.

David DePape was sentenced last month by a federal judge to 30 years in federal prison after he was found guilty of the 2022 attack against Paul Pelosi – husband of the leading Democrat politician.

On Friday, a jury in San Francisco also found DePape guilty of first-degree burglary, false imprisonment of an elder, threatening a family member of a public official, dissuading a witness to the charges and aggravated kidnapping.

DePape was previously convicted of assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting to kidnap a federal official.

The attack on Mr Pelosi was captured on police body camera video just days before the 2022 midterm elections and shocked US politics.

The then 82-year-old suffered two head wounds including a skull fracture that had to be mended with plates and screws.

Paul Pelosi. Pic: AP
Image:
Paul Pelosi. Pic: AP

David DePape. Pic: AP
Image:
David DePape. Pic: AP

Democratic former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pic: AP
Image:
Democratic former house speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pic: AP

In a statement, Mrs Pelosi’s office said: “Speaker Pelosi and her family remain in awe of their pop’s bravery, which shone through again on the witness stand in this trial just as it did when he saved his own life on the night of the attack.

“For nearly 20 gruelling months, Mr Pelosi has demonstrated extraordinary courage and fortitude every day of his recovery.”

DePape’s public defender, Adam Lipson, said he planned to appeal the verdict.

He described the prosecutor’s decision to file a kidnapping for ransom charge during the trial as “vindictive”.

Mr Lipson said: “It’s really unfortunate that it was charged this way. It was sort of a textbook vindictive prosecution.

“As soon as they found that the attempted murder charge was going to be dismissed, they added this charge.”

Mr Lipson had earlier successfully argued that the state trial represented double jeopardy following the federal conviction and even though the courts are different, the cases stem from the same act.

San Francisco superior court judge Harry Dorfman agreed and dismissed the state charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon.

Another judge upheld the decision on appeal.

Mr Lipson said the state verdict meant that after DePape served his 30 years in federal prison, he would then be transferred to a Californian prison “to spend the rest of his life” there.

In his closing arguments, he told the jury that the prosecution did not prove that DePape kidnapped Mr Pelosi with intent “to exact from another person money or something valuable”, which is integral to the charge.

However, assistant district attorney Phoebe Maffei pointed out that DePape told a detective, and testified in federal court, that he planned to get a video of Mrs Pelosi confessing to what he claimed were crimes – and post it on the internet.

Ms Maffei said: “There is inherent value in a video of the speaker of the House [of Representatives] confessing to crimes in her own home,”.

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Earlier this week, Ms Maffei outlined details of the attack where DePape broke into the politician’s home, entered their bedroom, “held him hostage with a hammer, threatened him, threatened his wife and attempted to kill him.”

Also during proceedings the jury was told that DePape lived a lonely, isolated life and had gone “down the rabbit hole of propaganda and conspiracy theories”.

During the week, the judge also expelled DePape’s former partner from the public gallery, accusing her of trying to tamper with the jury.

Gypsy Taub was handing out pieces of paper outside the courtroom with the address of a conspiracy theory website on them.

Cards were also found in a women’s bathroom nearby with the website’s address scrawled on the wall.

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