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Prosecutor says David DePape tried to kill Paul Pelosi during ‘terrifying’ attack two years ago

Assistant District Attorney Phoebe Maffei told the jury that the Pelosi attack was the first in DePape's planned "reign of terror."

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A prosecutor asked a jury in San Francisco state court Monday to return guilty verdicts on all counts against David DePape.

DePape faces charges of false imprisonment, residential burglary, threatening a family member of a public official, attempting to sway a witness and aggravated kidnapping. Prosecutors say he broke into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home in October 2022 before fracturing her husband Paul’s skull with a hammer.

He has admitted to the attack but pleaded not guilty. DePape originally faced attempted murder charge, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon charges in the state case, before those charges were dismissed by Judge Harry Dorfman last week.

Just one day before his state trial kicked off last month, 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.

During closing arguments Monday, Assistant District Attorney Phoebe Maffei told the 12-person jury that the ordeal that Paul Pelosi went through was “terrifying.”

DePape “threatened him, threatened his wife and attempted to kill him,” Maffei said.

Maffei told the jurors that DePape spent months researching the Pelosi home and the homes of other targets he planned to attack. DePape referred to his plans as a “rampage,” Maffei said.

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

“He took his time to make sure he was going to the right address that night,” Maffei said of DePape, who told investigators that he chose Nancy Pelosi as his first target because he felt it would be easier to break into her home.

DePape was prepared for a “lengthy standoff,” Maffei said, before she showed the jury video footage of DePape outside the Pelosi home. DePape carried bags full of supplies, including food, rope, zip ties, body cameras and two hammers.

The restraints and body cameras were going to be used “to record Mrs. Pelosi and likely others as he interrogated them and likely injured them,” Maffei said.

Maffei showed the jury transcripts of DePape’s interviews with investigators, where he admitted he wanted to break Nancy Pelosi’s kneecaps so she would need to be wheeled onto the floors of Congress.

“He wanted, and planned, to hobble Mrs. Pelosi in her home, and send her back in a wheelchair, a message to all,” Maffei said.

At the end of her statement, Maffei again showed the jury the body camera footage of the attack on Paul Pelosi. She said if the footage is slowed down, the jury will be able to hear the sound of the hammer hitting Paul Pelosi’s skull.

“You can hear it, and it is sickening,” Maffei said. She said that DePape had the chance to stop after the first swing, but instead he continued taking “swing after swing” at Paul Pelosi.

Paul Pelosi testified during the trial and says he still suffers from headaches and other effects from the attack two years later.

Maffei said that Paul would like to forget the attack, but he never will be able to.

“It was a reign of terror at the hands of David DePape, the result of which changed Mr. Pelosi’s life forever,” Maffei said.

The trial continues Tuesday, with DePape’s defense giving its closing arguments. The defense declined to call any witnesses during the trial, but DePape’s public defender Adam Lipson said during opening statements 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 the months before the attack.

Categories / Criminal, Trials

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