Man Accused of Attacking Paul Pelosi Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Murder

Man Accused of Attacking Paul Pelosi Pleads Not Guilty to Attempted Murder
David DePape in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Lear Zhou
Zachary Stieber
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—The man who allegedly assaulted Paul Pelosi with a hammer pleaded not guilty on Nov. 1 to attempted murder and other charges during his first court appearance.

A public defender representing the man, David DePape, 42, entered the pleas during a hearing in San Francisco Superior Court.

DePape, wearing an orange jumpsuit, did not speak during the hearing.

About the Suspect in the Pelosi Attack

A man accused of attacking the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told police officers at the scene that he was on a “suicide mission” and had other goals, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

The new details came shortly after California prosecutors charged David DePape, 42, with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, burglary, false imprisonment, and threatening a public official in connection with the attack on Oct. 28.

Prosecutors motioned for no bail. The defense waived the right to a hearing within 10 days. DePape will be held without bail until at least Nov. 4, when the next hearing is scheduled.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins had said her office would petition for no bail “based on the obvious and severe public safety risks that the defendant poses to San Francisco as well as the outer community.”

Federal authorities have a hold on DePape, which means that even if bail was granted, he still would not be released, Adam Lipson, the public defender, told reporters after the hearing.

DePape was charged with a slew of felonies by San Francisco authorities , including attempted murder, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon, after allegedly attacking Paul Pelosi inside the Pelosi residence on Oct. 28.

Lipson said that he has not had an opportunity to see the police reports and met with his client for the first time late Monday.

“So I’m not going to add to all the speculation by talking about the facts of this case right now,” Lipson said. “What I will say is that there’s also been a lot of speculation regarding Mr. DePape’s vulnerability to misinformation. And that’s certainly something that we’re going to look into, that we’re going to delve into as his defense team. But again, it would be premature to talk about that at this time.”

A protective order entered Tuesday forbids DePape from contacting the Pelosis and requires him to stay away from them and their home.

Adam Lipson, a public defender representing David DePape, speaks to reporters in San Francisco, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2022. (Lear Zhou/The Epoch Times)
Adam Lipson, a public defender representing David DePape, speaks to reporters in San Francisco, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2022. (Lear Zhou/The Epoch Times)
DePape was also charged by federal prosecutors with assault and attempted kidnapping.

Motives Behind Pelosi’s Attack

According to the filing, DePape told Paul Pelosi, “I’m tired of the [expletive] insane level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C. I came here to have a little chat with his wife.”

“I didn’t want to hurt him, but you know it was a suicide mission. I don’t want to stand here and do something even if it costs my life.”

Asked if he had plans other than attacking Pelosi’s home, DePape named several “prominent” state and federal politicians, their relatives and a local professor, according to the court filing. None of the people have been named.

DePape, who was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco, could face 13 years to life in prison if convicted. During the 15-minute session, DePape wore an orange jumpsuit and had his arms in a chain. His public defender, Adam Lipson, told reporters afterward that DePape’s shoulder was dislocated when police arrested him on Friday.

According to charging documents, DePape broke into the Pelosi residence in San Francisco and proceeded to a bedroom, where he woke up Paul Pelosi.

DePape said he was looking for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Paul Pelosi’s wife.

Paul Pelosi was able to call 911 from a bathroom and officers soon arrived. Officers witnessed DePape strike Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer.

The blow caused a skull fracture, according to Nancy Pelosi’s office.

Both DePape and Paul Pelosi were taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital after the attack.

Paul Pelosi underwent surgery to address a fractured skull and other injuries. He faces “a long recovery process,” Nancy Pelosi said.

DePape has a dislocated shoulder, according to Lipson. He was wearing a sling during the hearing.

DePape was released from the hospital and transferred to jail ahead of the arraignment.

David DePape was on a Suicide Mission

Paul Pelosi later told investigators that he had never seen DePape, though he told a dispatcher that DePape was “a friend,” according to dispatch audio.

DePape told police that he intended to kidnap Nancy Pelosi and question her, according to an FBI affidavit supporting the federal charges.