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What to Know About the Prosecution of David DePape

U.S.What to Know About the Prosecution of David DePape

David DePape broke into Nancy Pelosi’s house in San Francisco in the early hours of Oct. 28, 2022, and bludgeoned her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer, fracturing his skull. The brutal attack had national reverberations, sowing fear about political violence less than two weeks before the midterm elections.

In police interviews after the attack, DePape acknowledged what he had done, and he was charged with a number of state and federal felonies. His federal trial concluded last month with convictions and a 30-year prison sentence. His state trial began last week.

At DePape’s federal sentencing hearing, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said that it was important to send a message that politically motivated violence was “absolutely unacceptable to our democracy,” and added that she wanted to make sure “there are no copycats.”

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the state case. Yesterday, a judge dismissed some of the most serious charges, but DePape still faces a maximum state sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Today, I’ll walk you through the basics of what we know about the attack and where things stand now in the criminal proceedings against DePape.

DePape, then 42, busted through a back door of the Pelosis’ residence in the affluent neighborhood of Pacific Heights in San Francisco, looking for Nancy Pelosi, who was then the speaker of the House. He repeatedly called out, “Where’s Nancy?” But she was in Washington at the time, and DePape instead encountered Paul Pelosi, asleep in the couple’s bedroom.

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