National News from ABC

David DePape found guilty in federal trial over Paul Pelosi hammer attack

Jason Marz/Getty Images

(SAN FRANCISCO) — A federal jury has convicted the suspect accused of the violent hammer attack against Paul Pelosi at his and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home last year.

The jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon before reaching a verdict late Thursday morning, finding David DePape guilty on both federal counts.

Pelosi, 83, suffered a skull fracture after being struck in the head with a hammer during the early morning attack on Oct. 28, 2022, which occurred just days before the midterm elections, police said.

DePape, 43, was arrested at the scene and subsequently charged with attempted kidnapping and assault on account of a federal official’s performance of official duties. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years and 30 years, respectively, in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

While testifying during the trial on Nov. 13, Pelosi said he was alone in the home while Rep. Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., when DePape burst through his bedroom door holding a hammer in one hand and some ties in the other, repeatedly asking, “Where’s Nancy?”

“I recognized I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” Pelosi testified.

In a statement following the verdict, a spokesperson for the Pelosi family said they are “deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes for Mr. Pelosi from so many across the country during this difficult time.”

“The Pelosi family is very proud of their Pop, who demonstrated extraordinary composure and courage on the night of the attack a year ago and in the courtroom this week,” the spokesperson said. “Thankfully, Mr. Pelosi continues to make progress in his recovery.”

The incident was captured on police body camera video.

The footage, released earlier this year to news organizations, shows officers arriving at the residence. When the door is opened, Pelosi is seen standing next to DePape and both are struggling over a hammer. One of the officers says, “Drop the hammer.”

DePape is then seen gaining control of the hammer and swinging it at Pelosi. The footage does not show the moment Pelosi was struck. The officers then enter the home and work to restrain DePape as Pelosi is seen lying on the ground.

Prosecutors showed jurors body camera footage from the incident, including video of DePape admitting to the attack while speaking to police outside the Pelosis’ home.

Paul Pelosi was hospitalized for six days and returned home to recover.

“I’ve tried putting it out of my mind,” he said. “I made the best effort possible to not relive it.”

The defense has not disputed that DePape attacked Pelosi, but has challenged the charges that DePape was attempting to interfere with Rep. Pelosi’s official duties, telling jurors her client believed he was trying to stop government corruption, the AP reported.

“This is not a ‘whodunit.’ But what the government fails to acknowledge is the ‘whydunit,’ and the why matters in this case,” she said, according to the AP.

Officials said they discovered zip ties on the scene along with rope, tape and other things in DePape’s backpack.

DePape told investigators he was “going to hold Nancy hostage and talk to her,” according to authorities. If she told the truth, he said he “would let her go, and if she ‘lied,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps,'” the complaint said.

DePape also faces state charges in the incident. He pleaded not guilty to state charges including attempted murder, residential burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. A state trial date has not yet been scheduled.

ABC News’ Jaclyn Lee and Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

On Air Now

Now Playing On X101

Download The X101 App


Site Designed & Hosted by Eves Digital