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Attempted murder and other charges dismissed against accused Paul Pelosi hammer attacker during state trial

The trial will resume on June 14, where DePape still faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and false imprisonment, among others.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harry Dorfman tossed three of the counts against David DePape mid-trial Thursday afternoon — including the count for attempted murder — amidst DePape’s high-profile trial in California state court for his attack of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

In addition to dismissing the attempted murder charge, Dorfman dismissed counts of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon against DePape.

Jurors were not present Thursday, as Dorfman gave them both Wednesday and Thursday off while he discussed motions and jury instructions with the lawyers on both sides. DePape would have faced life in prison if convicted of the attempted murder charges.

Prosecutors say DePape broke into Pelosi’s home in October 2022 before fracturing her husband Paul’s skull with a hammer.

DePape filed a motion in May that sought to dismiss multiple counts against him under California’s double jeopardy laws, which he argue shields him from being tried more than once for the same offense, referring to his conviction in federal court for the same attack.

DePape has admitted to attacking Paul Pelosi but pleaded not guilty to all charges in the state case.

Just one day before his state trial kicked off, DePape was sentenced in San Francisco federal court to 30 years in prison for assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempted kidnapping of a federal official for the attack on Paul Pelosi.

Dorfman’s dismissal of the three charges will cause over a week of delays in the trial. The prosecution rested its case earlier this week, and jurors were set to return to the courtroom to hear the opening of the defense’s case Friday morning.

Now, jurors will not return until Friday, June 14 as attorneys from both sides have requested a stay from an appellate court to challenge Dorfman’s ruling.

DePape still faces charges of false imprisonment, residential burglary, threatening a family member of a public official, attempting to sway a witness and aggravated kidnapping.

It’s unclear if DePape will testify on his own behalf in the state trial, as he did during the federal trial — where he tearfully testified that he'd spent most of his days before the attack in a Richmond garage playing video games and listening to right-wing podcasts from Tim Pool and James Lindsay that espoused right-wing conspiracies about schools being “molestation factories.”

DePape said then he believed Nancy Pelosi was a part of a cabal of elites controlling the country, indoctrinating children and trampling on the rights of Americans. He said Pelosi and other progressive politicians smeared former President Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

The state trial has closely mirrored the federal trial to this point. On day one of the trial, prosecutors showed the jury graphic images of DePape’s attack on Pelosi, including body camera footage where DePape struck Pelosi on the head with a hammer; some jurors recoiled at the sight of the violence.

Paul Pelosi testified last Friday and shared harrowing details of being awoken in the middle of the night by DePape, who he said burst through his bedroom door holding a hammer and zip ties demanding to see Nancy Pelosi.

The prosecution’s witnesses all testified that DePape appeared to be lucid and in control of his mind and actions when he committed the attack, contradicting the defense’s argument that DePape was suffering from a schizoid personality disorder that left him unable to control his actions and emotions and left him prone to fantastical, delusional thinking.

In addition to Pelosi, DePape intended to expose George Soros, California Governor Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks and numerous others he believed were involved in child molestation and other crimes.

“That was his mental state. That was his plan,” Adam Lipson, DePape’s public defender, told the jury during opening statements last week. “His ideas might seem ridiculous or crazy to you ... But he absolutely believed that’s what was going on in this country.”

Categories / Criminal, Trials

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