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Update: David DePape ordered to stand trial in violent assault of Paul Pelosi

David DePape ordered to stand trial in violent assault of Paul Pelosi
David DePape ordered to stand trial in violent assault of Paul Pelosi 02:21

SAN FRANCISCO -- After hours of testimony including 911 call audio and police body cam video, David DePape was ordered Wednesday to stand trial on all charges stemming from the terrifying October home-invasion assault of Paul Pelosi.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy determined there was enough evidence to move forward with prosecution on all state charges, including attempted murder. 

ALSO READ: Pelosi portrait unveiled, historic first of a female speaker

Murphy ordered DePape is due back in state court on Dec. 28 for formal arraignment.   

During Wednesday's  preliminary hearing, prosecutors used 911 audio, police body cam video and investigators sworn testimony to meticulously pieced together the case against the accused assailant. The evidence revealed a list of potential targets in addition to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit, DePape sat at the defense table. In the crowded courtroom was Christine Pelosi, one of the Pelosis' five adult children. 

The hearing got off to a quick start with prosecutors playing audio of Paul Pelosi's 911 call to San Francisco police.

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

The audio recording was followed by one of the SFPD officers -- officer Kyle Cagney -- who responded to the home taking the stand and describing the doorway confrontation with DePape and the swift hammer attack. He then displayed the hammer to the courtroom, pulling it from a large evidence pouch. 

Cagney also reviewed 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 California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Tom 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 hearing was the first in front of Murphy. Presiding Judge Loretta "Lori" Giorgi bowed out after revealing that she and Christine had worked together in the San Francisco city attorney's office in the 1990s but had not interacted in years.   

The enraged DePape allegedly broke into the home searching for Paul's wife -- former House speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 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.

"When officers arrived on scene, they encountered an adult male and Mrs. Pelosi's husband, Paul," SFPD Chief Bill Scott told reporters. "Our officers observed Mr. Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it."

"Our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid," he added.

Along with the hammer,  DePape also had zip ties, which he admitted to having so he could take Nancy Pelosi hostage. 

He had allegedly forced his way into the home by smashing the window of a rear door.


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."

Adding to the emotional scars for the whole family is how some reacted.

"I haven't slept since the night my father was attacked," Alexandra said. "What happened to him is one thing; what the outside world did with that for their own political fodder, is what's much harder for us to handle as a family. I don't care who you are and who you vote for. Nobody should think it is funny that an 82-year-old man got attacked in his home. And yet, like, a sitting governor and a wannabe governor and members of Congress were laughing about it."

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