Man accused of assaulting US House Speaker Pelosi’s husband pleads not guilty to state charges

David Wayne DePape, the man accused of breaking into the San Francisco home of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and assaulting her 82-year-old husband Paul, Wednesday pleaded not guilty to six state criminal charges and denied all the allegations.

David DePape is charged with attempted murder, first-degree residential burglary, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and threatening a family member of a public official. DePape denied all the charges and waived his right to a speedy trial. His next court date is scheduled for February 23, 2023. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins released a press statement saying, “Mr. DePape will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and held accountable for his heinous crimes.”

According to the federal criminal complaint, DePape forcefully broke into the Pelosi residence by smashing through a window in a back door. He intended to take Nancy Pelosi as his hostage, but when he learned that she was not in the house, he proceeded instead to attack Paul Pelosi by striking him in the head at full force with a hammer, which knocked Paul unconscious. DePape told the police and medics at the crime scene that his intention was not to hurt Paul but to take Nancy Pelosi hostage.

The assault stirred up apprehension about political violence in the run-up to the US November midterm elections. Pelosi also mentioned that the attack affected her decision to step down from her congressional leadership role, ending her two-decade Democratic leadership in Congress.