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Jury deliberations underway in David DePape's state trial for Paul Pelosi attack

State charges against David DePape dismissed by judge
State charges against David DePape dismissed by judge 00:33

Jury deliberations began Tuesday afternoon in San Francisco in the state trial of David DePape, the man already convicted and sentenced in federal court for the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi.

A spokesperson for the Superior Court of California said deliberations began just before 2 p.m. PT and a 30-minute warning would be issued for the verdict to be announced once the jurors reach the verdict. The warning would be shortened if it was close to the end of the day, the spokesperson said.

There is no court on Wednesday because of the Juneteenth holiday.

Gypsy Taub, who has two children with David DePape, was also barred from the second floor of the San Francisco courthouse because the judge said she was trying to tamper with the jury.

On Monday and Tuesday, Taub, a well-known pro-nudity activist in the Bay Area, handed out pieces of paper outside the courtroom with the address of a website she runs that promotes conspiracy theories. On Tuesday, graffiti of the website's address was discovered in a women's bathroom near the courtroom.

"You have been trying to corruptly influence one or more jury members," San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harry Dorfman said sternly before asking two bailiffs to escort Taub out of the courtroom.

The judge's decision came before DePape's attorney, San Francisco Public Defender Adam Lipson, presented his closing arguments to the jury, saying DePape had been living a solitary life and had gone "down the rabbit hole of propaganda and conspiracy theories" when he broke into the Pelosis' home on Oct. 28, 2022.

DePape was sentenced last month to 30 years in prison after a jury in November 2023 found him guilty of attempting to hold then-Speaker Pelosi hostage and assaulting her husband at the couple's San Francisco mansion in Pacific Heights.

The attack on then-82-year-old Paul Pelosi was captured on police bodycam video after officers responded to his 911 call and found him struggling with DePape who then bludgeoned Pelosi with a hammer. Just days before the 2022 midterm elections, the incident sent shockwaves through the political world and was attributed to the predictable effects of increasingly demonizing political rhetoric.

DePape admitted he went to seek out Nancy Pelosi - who was in Washington DC at the time - as part of a plan to end what he viewed as government corruption, a notion reinforced by his endless consumption of right-wing media and outlandish conspiracy theories. He tearfully testified that he became a follower of Donald Trump after coming to believe that mainstream news outlets repeatedly spread lies about the former president.

Opening statements in the state trial began in late May, a day after DePape's federal sentencing was reopened to allow him to speak after a procedural error during his original sentencing.   

Earlier this month, the judge in the state trial granted a defense motion to dismiss three counts in the case against DePape -- attempted murder, assault of an elder and assault with a deadly weapon -- based on the public defender's argument that the counts fell under double jeopardy.

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