Judge reopens Paul Pelosi attacker sentencing after making 'clear error'

FILE - David DePape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. DePape, who allegedly broke into U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home and beat her 82-year-old husband in October 2022 pleaded not guilty Wednesday, Dec. 28, to six charges, including attempted murder, prosecutors said. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)
David DePape in Berkeley. The judge who sentenced DePape failed to give him a chance to speak before he was sentenced, she said. (Michael Short / Associated Press)

A federal judge reopened the sentencing of a man who assaulted the husband of former U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying the attacker was not given the opportunity to speak before he was sentenced last week.

The decision came Saturday — a day after Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley sentenced David DePape to 30 years in prison for his violent 2022 attempted kidnapping of Nancy Pelosi, during which he used a hammer to bludgeon her husband, Paul.

At sentencing hearings in federal court, judges typically permit defendants an opportunity to speak before the jurist renders judgment. Federal criminal procedure requires the court to “address the defendant personally in order to permit the defendant to speak or present any information to mitigate the sentence.”

While the reopened sentencing will likely have little change on Scott Corley's sentencing decision, she admitted her error in forgetting to grant DePape a speaking opportunity in a brief Saturday filing.

"It was the Court’s responsibility to personally ask Mr. DePape if he wanted to speak. As the Court did not do so, it committed clear error," she wrote.

Scott Corley set a new sentencing date for May 28.

Read more: David DePape sentenced to 30 years in attempted Nancy Pelosi kidnapping, hammer attack on husband

DePape faced a total of 50 years in prison — 30 years for the assault charge and 20 years for the attempted kidnapping — but Scott Corley ordered the sentences to run concurrently for a total of 30 years.

The 44-year-old assailant traveled from his home in Richmond to the Pelosis' house in Pacific Heights on Oct. 28, 2022. He planned to hold the speaker of the House hostage and to interrogate her regarding unfounded claims fueled by far-right conspiracy theories.

He broke into the house but found only Paul Pelosi, as Nancy Pelosi was in Washington.

DePape and Pelosi grappled over a hammer, and DePape bludgeoned the 82-year-old homeowner with the weapon.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.