The far-right conspiracist, 43, is charged with assaulting Paul Pelosi and attempting to kidnap then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at their San Francisco home last year
DePape, 43, arrived at a San Francisco court on Thursday morning for the first day of his federal trial, where prosecutors aim to prove that he is not only responsible for assaulting Paul, but that he arrived at the Pelosis' home with an intent to kidnap then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
If convicted on the assault and attempted kidnapping charges, DePape faces life in prison.
The attack occurred on Oct. 28, 2022, after DePape allegedly broke into the Pelosis' home and woke Paul demanding to speak to Nancy.
In a press conference following the attack, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said that officers arrived at the Pelosis' home shortly before 2:30 a.m. local time to conduct a wellness check. Inside the house, they allegedly encountered Paul and DePape both holding onto a hammer. Then, Scott said, "the suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it."
"Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid," Scott added.
Body camera footage offered further details of the incident, showing how police told the suspect to drop the hammer. "Nope," he replied. Within seconds, the man then wound up his arm and attacked Paul in front of the policemen, who swiftly moved in and tackled the assailant to the ground.
Audio from a 911 call Paul made prior to the attack was also released. In it, a dispatcher asks Paul whether he needed help.
"There is a human here just waiting for my wife to come back," Paul responded, adding, "Nancy Pelosi."
"He's just waiting for her to come back, but she's not going to be here for days, so I guess I'll have to wait," Paul continued. According to U.S. Capitol Police, who assisted with the investigation, Nancy was in Washington, D.C. with her protective detail at the time of the attack.
Paul suffered a fractured skull and other serious injuries as a result of the attack and successfully underwent surgery to repair his skull on the same day the incident occurred.
In addition to two federal charges, DePape faces a slew of charges from the San Francisco District Attorney, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other felonies.
A date for DePape's state trial will be determined on Nov. 29.
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