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David DePape pleads not guilty to attempted murder, other charges in Pelosi assault

David DePape pleads not guilty to multiple state charges in Paul Pelosi attack
David DePape pleads not guilty to multiple state charges in Paul Pelosi attack 00:57

SAN FRANCISCO -- Once again, David DePape entered a not guilty plea Wednesday to charges stemming from the terrifying October home-invasion assault of Paul Pelosi inside the family's San Francisco residence.

DePape, who has also pleaded not guilty to federal kidnapping and assault charges, made the plea in San Francisco Superior Court where he faces trial on state charges including the attempted murder of the husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who was Speaker of the House at the time of the assault.

Wednesday's court appearance was a mere formality. 

At the short hearing, DePape waived his right for a speedy trial.  He was ordered back to court on Feb. 23, 2023 to set a date for his trial.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy ordered DePape to trial after hearing hours of testimony from investigators, the playing of Paul Pelosi's 911 call audio and viewing police body cam video of the assault at the Dec. 14 preliminary hearing.

The evidence also revealed DePape's mental list of potential targets in addition to Nancy Pelosi including actor Tom Hanks and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

SFPD officer Kyle Cagney -- who responded to the home -- described for Murphy the doorway confrontation with DePape and the swift hammer attack on Pelosi. He then displayed the hammer to the courtroom, pulling it from a large evidence pouch. 

DePape preliminary hearing sketch
DePape preliminary hearing sketch showing the hammer allegedly used in the home invasion and assault of Paul Pelosi. Vicki Behringer

Cagney also reviewed the police body camera video with Judge Murphy.

Sgt. Carla Hurley, who interviewed DePape for an hour the day of the attack, testified that the defendant told her of other people he wanted to target, including Newsom, Hanks and Hunter Biden, one of President Joe Biden's sons. Hurley did not say whether police had any evidence of a plot against them.

Authorities had previously said DePape told investigators that he had other targets but a court document only stated that they were a local professor as well as several prominent state and federal politicians and members of their families.

"There is evil in Washington, what they did went so far beyond the campaign. It originates with Hillary (Clinton)," DePape told Hurley, according to her testimony. She said he also remarked, "Honestly, day in day out, they are lying. They go from one crime to another crime to another crime."  

The enraged DePape allegedly broke into the home searching for Paul's wife, Nancy, who was in Washington at the time.

He told officers and medics at the scene -- "I'm sick of the insane level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C. I came here to have a little chat with his wife. I didn't really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission. I'm not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life."    

On a local level, DePape is facing attempted murder, battery, assault and a string of other charges related to the attack in which he struck Paul Pelosi with a hammer, fracturing his skull, as police officers watched from a doorway.  

Meanwhile, there is a parallel prosecution going on in federal court where the Richmond man has been charged with assault and attempted kidnapping. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges and is being held without bail.

The charges stem from his arrest for the early morning break-in and assault on Oct. 28 at the Pelosi home that sent shockwaves across the nation's divided political landscape.

According to San Francisco police, officers responded to Paul Pelosi's 911 call reporting the home break-in at approximately 2:27 a.m.

Upon arrival, the officers found DePape attacking Pelosi.


After surgery and a hospital stay, Paul Pelosi has been recovering at home. 

When asked in a recent CBS News interview, the Pelosi's daughter, Alexandra, said her father's recovery has been slow and steady.

"He's getting better every day, thank you for asking," she responded to a question about her father's current condition. "The scars are healing. I mean, he looks like Frankenstein. The scars are healing. But I think the emotional scars, uh, I don't know if those ever heal.

"I mean, that's tough. It's really tough.  I don't think it's OK for an 82-year-old man to be attacked in his home in the middle of the night because of whatever his wife does for work."

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