Judge in State Case Against Paul Pelosi Attacker Dismisses Attempted Murder, Other Charges

Judge in State Case Against Paul Pelosi Attacker Dismisses Attempted Murder, Other Charges

Paul Pelosi (L) and then House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attend the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner at the Washington Hilton, on April 28, 2018. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts

6/12/2024

Updated: 6/12/2024

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A San Francisco Superior Court judge has dismissed multiple state charges against the man convicted of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), with a hammer in 2022.
Following several hours of arguments last week, Judge Harry Dorfman dismissed three counts against David DePape, whom a federal jury in November found guilty of attempting to kidnap Ms. Pelosi, then serving as speaker, and assaulting her husband, both on account of her official duties as a member of Congress.
The counts—attempted murder, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon—were dismissed based on the argument that they fall under double jeopardy, the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office confirmed to The Epoch Times.
In late May, Mr. DePape was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with credit for time served, on two charges: assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting to kidnap a federal official.
However, state prosecutors are also pursuing a case against Mr. DePape following the October 2022 incident. His lawyers argue that the state trial represents double jeopardy under California law, as both cases stem from the same act.
Double jeopardy is a procedural defense that prevents an accused person from being tried again on the same or similar charges.
Mr. DePape’s trial is set to begin on June 14, according to the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.

Footage Shows DePape Holding Hammer

Mr. DePape, a Canadian citizen, still faces charges of false imprisonment, residential burglary, threatening a family member of a public official, attempting to sway a witness, and aggravated kidnapping in connection with the attack.
Those charges were not part of the federal trial. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
According to prosecutors, Mr. DePape broke into Mr. and Mrs. Pelosi’s San Francisco home in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, 2022, just days before that year’s midterm elections, and attacked Mr. Pelosi, then 82, by striking him in the head with a hammer, resulting in a skull fracture.
Ms. Pelosi, who was the speaker of the House at the time, was in Washington when the attack occurred.
Police body camera footage taken during the night of the attack shows officers arriving at the home and opening the door to find Mr. DePape and Mr. Pelosi both holding what appeared to be a hammer.
Police told Mr. DePape to drop the tool, however, he declined to do so and then appeared to strike Mr. Pelosi while off-camera.
Police said they later found a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, rubber and cloth gloves, and zip ties inside Mr. DePape’s backpack during a search.
David DePape in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

David DePape in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

DePape Sought to ‘Detain and Injure’ Pelosi

Federal prosecutors said in October 2022 that the attack was politically motivated and that Mr. DePape sought to “detain and injure” Ms. Pelosi during the incident, aiming to break her kneecaps so that she would be left using a wheelchair.
She would then need to be “wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions,” Mr. DePape allegedly told FBI agents after his arrest, according to court documents published in October 2022.
However, he instead found her husband alone at home, sleeping in his bed.
Following the attack, Mr. Pelosi underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.
Mr. DePape testified in court in May that he planned to target other people and not just Ms. Pelosi, including President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, billionaire George Soros, actor Tom Hanks, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
His attorneys have argued in court that their client was motivated by his political beliefs and conspiracy theories.
Family members and friends of Mr. DePape suggested weeks after the October 2022 assault that he may have been struggling with mental health issues before carrying out the attack.
Following his arrest, U.S. immigration officials confirmed that Mr. DePape is a Canadian national who was in the United States illegally, noting that he had overstayed his visa years ago.
Caden Pearson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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