Shropshire Star

Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband found guilty of kidnapping

A jury also found David DePape guilty of first-degree burglary, false imprisonment of an elder and threatening a family member of a public official.

Pelosi Husband Attacked

A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in the attack against former US house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was convicted on Friday of aggravated kidnapping, a conviction that mandates life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

A San Francisco jury also found David DePape guilty of first-degree burglary, false imprisonment of an elder, threatening a family member of a public official and dissuading a witness.

The convictions on the additional charges come weeks after a federal judge sentenced DePape for the 2022 attack against Paul Pelosi.

“Speaker Pelosi and her family remain in awe of their Pop’s bravery, which shone through again on the witness stand in this trial just as it did when he saved his own life on the night of the attack,” Ms Pelosi’s office wrote in an emailed statement on Friday.

Pelosi Husband Attacked
Paul Pelosi, husband of former house speaker Nancy Pelosi (Noah Berger, AP File)

“For nearly 20 gruelling months, Mr Pelosi has demonstrated extraordinary courage and fortitude every day of his recovery.”

DePape’s public defender Adam Lipson said he was disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal it. He called the prosecutors’ decision to file a kidnapping for ransom charge “vindictive”.

“It’s really unfortunate that it was charged this way. It was sort of a textbook vindictive prosecution,” Mr Lipson said. “As soon as they found that the attempted murder charge was going to be dismissed, they added this charge.”

Mr Lipson earlier argued that the state trial represents double jeopardy following the federal conviction.

Even though the criminal counts are not the same, the two cases stem from the same act, he told the judge.

San Francisco superior court judge Harry Dorfman agreed and dismissed the state charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. Another judge upheld the decision on appeal.

Mr Lipson said the verdict means that after DePape serves 30 years in federal prison, he will be transferred to California “to spend the rest of his life in a California prison”.

Pelosi Husband Attacked
David DePape was also convicted on Friday, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Previously, a federal jury convicted DePape of assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting to kidnap a federal official.

On May 28, he was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison during an unusual resentencing hearing that resulted from judicial error.

Mr Lipson focused his closing arguments on explaining to the jury that prosecutors did not prove DePape kidnapped Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, with the intent “to exact from another person money or something valuable”, which is integral to the charge.

Assistant district attorney Phoebe Maffei told the jury in her closing arguments that DePape had planned to record a video of his interrogation of Nancy Pelosi.

Mr Lipson argued the video did not exist and if it did, it would not have had any value.

“When he broke into the Pelosis’ home his intent was to confront and potentially hurt and assault Nancy Pelosi. That was his intent at that time, that has nothing to do with Mr Pelosi,” he said.

In her rebuttal, Ms Maffei pointed out DePape told a detective and testified in federal court that he planned to get a video of Nancy Pelosi confessing to what he believed to be crimes and post it on the internet.

“There is inherent value in a video of the speaker of the house confessing to crimes in her own home,” Ms Maffei said.

The attack on Paul Pelosi was captured on police body camera video just days before the 2022 midterm elections and shocked the political world.

He suffered two head wounds including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand were also injured.

DePape admitted during his federal trial testimony that he planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, record his interrogation of her, and “break her kneecaps” if she did not admit to the lies he said she told about “Russiagate”, a reference to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mr Lipson told the jury during closing arguments that before the attack, DePape was living an isolated, lonely life and “went down the rabbit hole of propaganda and conspiracy theories”.

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