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David DePape sentencing re-opened due to court error; 30-year sentence likely won't be changed

Paul Pelosi attacker sentenced to 30 years
Paul Pelosi attacker sentenced to 30 years in prison 01:29

A federal judge has moved to re-open the sentencing of David DePape, the man convicted in the 2022 hammer attack on Paul Pelosi, due to a court error.

DePape was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday in the federal trial where he was charged with assaulting former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul in their home as well as attempted kidnapping. Prosecutors noticed the mistake Friday afternoon, not long after the sentencing, and notified the court. DePape's lawyers promptly filed an appeal.

The error is unlikely to alter DePape's sentence. Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year prison term. 

The judge imposed the maximum for each count the defendant faced -- 30 years for the assault charge, 20 years for the attempted kidnapping charge -- that will run concurrently. DePape was given credit for time served for the 18 months he has been in custody.  

After Friday's hearing, Judge Corley wrote, "no party brought to the court's attention" that it had not allowed Mr. DePape to speak, a requirement of federal criminal procedures. "As the court did not do so, it committed clear error," she wrote.    

During the hearing, Christine Pelosi read the victim impact statements on behalf of her parents. 

In her letter to the court, Nancy Pelosi asked the judge for a "very long" sentence for DePape, saying the attack "[f]illed me with great fear and deep pain." Paul Pelosi's victim statement to the judge noted that he is still suffering dizziness, headaches, balance problems, nerve pain and walking challenges from the health impacts of the vicious attack.

A new hearing has been scheduled for later in May. 

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