David DePape: Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with a hammer in the head declared guilty | International

David DePape: Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with a
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Illustration of the trial against David DePape.VICKI BEHRINGER (REUTERS)

David DePape, the man who broke into Nancy Pelosi's house in October 2022, was found guilty this Thursday by a San Francisco court of the crimes of assault and attempted kidnapping of a federal official. It took only eight hours for the jury to reach an agreement on the responsibility of the suspect, who attacked Paul Pelosi, the husband of the Democratic politician, with a hammer on the head. DePape, a 43-year-old Canadian citizen, listened calmly and without reacting to the judge's reading. He will be sentenced in December, but faces up to 50 years behind bars.

Nancy Pelosi, who was speaker of the House of Representatives until November of last year, has assured in a statement that her husband, 82, “continues to make progress in his recovery” a year after the incident and thanked the expressions of affection received after the attack, which was directed to her. DePape, an adherent of far-right conspiracy theories, broke into his residence in the early hours of October 28, 2022, a few days before the midterm elections.

DePape testified during the trial that he planned to dress up as a unicorn and take Pelosi hostage and subject her to a recorded interrogation, which he would later upload to the Internet. The attacker intended to get Pelosi to accept on camera that she had lied to the American people. And if he didn't agree with her, he was going to "break her knees." When he was detained, DePape had a rope and plastic handcuffs with him. Authorities also found a computer and a tablet.

DePape's plans fell apart when he entered the residence and learned that politics was in Washington. Home surveillance cameras show him breaking a window to get into the house. During the trial, Paul Pelosi recalled how he was awakened by a robust man who burst into his bedroom shouting “where is Nancy?” DePape threatened to tie him up until his wife returned from the east.

“The shock was tremendous,” Paul Pelosi told the jury. “I realized I was in serious danger, but I tried to stay calm as much as I could,” he added from the stand. Pelosi wanted to remain calm even though the invader had a hammer and ropes in his hand. He was able to call 911, the emergency number, while DePape watched him and ordered him to tell authorities that he was his friend.

The body camera used by the police officers who responded to the call for help has been one of the central pieces of evidence presented by the Prosecutor's Office. In the harsh images, you can see the police couple arriving at the residence. Pelosi, in her underwear and pajama shirt, opens the door with one hand. With the other he holds the hammer, also wielded by DePape. He snatches it from him and hits him on the head with a hammer. The police attack the attacker after the blow. Pelosi said in court that he remembers waking up in a pool of his own blood.

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The attacker testified that he sought to end corruption in the United States Government. After finishing her interrogation of Nancy Pelosi, she would do the same with other political figures such as the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, and Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden. Her plan went beyond the Democrats, as she targeted actor Tom Hanks and a professor of Feminism and gender studies who testified against DePape.

From the stand, DePape claimed that he thought Paul Pelosi had died. He only learned that his victim was alive after being accused by the authorities. “He was never my goal, I'm sorry he was hurt,” he said. A neurosurgeon doctor stated during the process that Pelosi needed plates and screws for the two injuries and the fracture in the skull. DePape must still face another trial in local courts on a new series of charges such as assault with a murder weapon, elder abuse and robbery, among others.

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Nathan Rivera
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