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Trial date set in federal case against Paul Pelosi attack suspect

While a federal trial is now on the calendar, David DePape's state trial won't be set before April 12.

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — A trial date has been set in the federal case against David DePape, the man accused of bludgeoning U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi with a hammer this past fall.

Dressed in bright orange sweat clothes and orange plastic clogs, DePape was quiet but attentive as U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley and attorneys for both sides spent several moments Wednesday morning hashing out dates for both the next motion hearing as well as his trial, set for Oct. 23. A motion hearing has been set for May 30, and his pretrial hearing is scheduled for October 11.

Discovery, which at the last hearing on Feb. 28 was still in process, is largely finished, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Vartain Horn told Corley.

Corley asked what "largely" meant.

A few bits and drabs are still trickling in, Horn replied, satisfying the judge’s question.

DePape’s appearance Wednesday lasted nine minutes.

The 43-year-old stands accused of violently attacking 82-year-old Paul Pelosi early in the morning of Oct. 28, after breaking into the Pelosis’ home in San Francisco’s tony Pacific Heights. He also faces charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official. DePape could spend up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

Paul Pelosi sustained a skull fracture in the attack and underwent surgery for the fracture and other injured limbs. Then-Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the attack, protected by her security detail. 

Officers found a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves and zip ties at the scene. Federal prosecutors say DePape broke into the house looking for Speaker Pelosi and found her husband in bed. DePape told officers he was going to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage and talk to her, saying he views her as the “leader of the pack."

"DePape also later explained that by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions," an FBI agent said in an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint. "DePape also explained generally that he wanted to use Nancy to lure another individual to DePape."

DePape made online posts about QAnon conspiracy theories and racist beliefs and was known in Berkeley as a pro-nudity activist who picketed naked at protests against local ordinances requiring people to be clothed in public, according to investigators. DePape's online entries included defending former President Donald Trump and claims that any journalists who denied Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election “should be dragged straight out into the street and shot.”

DePape, a Canadian citizen who overstayed his visa after entering the United States 15 years ago, also faces state charges. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has charged DePape with several counts including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary false imprisonment and threatening the life or serious bodily harm to a public official.

A trial date in the state's case has not yet been set, though his next appearance is scheduled for April 12.

Categories / Criminal, Government, National

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