San Francisco DA announces attempted murder charge for alleged Paul Pelosi attacker
The San Francisco district attorney on Monday announced an attempted murder charge for the man accused of violently attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), in the couple’s California home last week.
District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced that David Wayne DePape, 42, will be charged with residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a public official and their family, in addition to attempted murder.
He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday and is facing between 13 years and life in prison, according to Jenkins. She also said a motion to detain will be filed for DePape on Tuesday, citing the “obvious and severe public safety risk” he poses to San Francisco and the outer community.
The state charges were announced shortly after the Department of Justice charged DePape with federal assault and attempted kidnapping.
DePape is accused of breaking into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home in the middle of the night on Friday and striking Paul Pelosi with a hammer, causing serious injuries, authorities said.
Paul Pelosi was transported to a hospital, where he underwent surgery to treat a skull fracture and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.
In a statement Monday evening, Pelosi, who said her family had been “deluged” with messages of concern, prayers and well-wishes, indicated that her husband “is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process.”
During the news conference announcing the state charges, Jenkins disclosed new details that shed more light on the early-morning attack, and reiterated information that federal prosecutors included in their affidavit.
In line with previous information, Jenkins told reporters on Monday that DePape “specifically targeted the Pelosi home to confront Speaker Pelosi.” Last week, a source familiar with the investigation told The Hill that before the attack, DePape approached Paul Pelosi and shouted “where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?”
Pelosi was in Washington, D.C. at the time of the incident.
The district attorney said DePape “forced his way into the home through a rear glass door by breaking the glass,” then traveled up the stairs in the house to the second floor, where he found Paul Pelosi “sleeping in his bed” in a loose-fitting pajama shirt and boxer shorts.
“He woke him up confronting him about the whereabouts of Speaker Pelosi,” Jenkins said, adding that there was no security present at the time at the home.
She said the attack appears to be politically motivated, based on statements and comments DePape made in the house during his encounter with Paul Pelosi.
At some point during the encounter between the two men, Jenkins said Paul Pelosi “attempted to access the elevator in the home, which has a phone” — a detail that was not disclosed in the Justice Department’s charging document.
“The defendant then blocked Mr. Pelosi’s access to that elevator,” Jenkins said.
Federal prosecutors revealed earlier on Monday that the two men were downstairs when officers arrived on the scene, but Jenkins’ account described how they made it from the second floor to the first floor.
“It was at some point after that Mr. Pelosi asked to go to the bathroom, which is where he was able to call 911 from his cellphone. The defendant, realizing that Mr. Pelosi had called 911, took Mr. Pelosi downstairs near the front door of the residence,” Jenkins said.
She then walked through the moment DePape struck Paul Pelosi with a hammer.
“Two police officers arrived at the front door two minutes after that 911 call. When that door was opened, the defendant was holding his hammer, which Mr. Pelosi appeared to be attempting to control by holding a portion of that hammer. The defendant then pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently struck him in the top of his head. The police then immediately apprehended the defendant,” Jenkins said.
She noted that DePape brought a second hammer, zip ties, rope and a roll of tape to Pelosi’s home, which the DOJ had previously disclosed.
Jenkins on Monday said it was “very sad to see that we are once again at a point in history where people believe that it’s okay to express their political sentiments through violence.”
“And so I think it really demonstrates that we have to calm things down, we have to decide that we are going to be more respectful as an American society, that it’s okay to disagree. But it certainly is something that has unnerved us all,” she added.
Updated 8:43 p.m.