The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home and bludgeoning her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges in court Wednesday.
David DePape, dressed in a bright orange jail-issued sweater and sweat pants, appeared at a San Francisco court for a brief hearing where he also waived his right to a speedy trial.
Pelosi suffered serious injuries during the violent Oct. 28 attack, including a skull fracture, a circular indentation on the right side of his head and deep lacerations on his right arm, prosecutors said.
During a preliminary hearing earlier this month, San Francisco police Sgt. Carla Hurley testified that DePape claimed he was on a “suicide mission” when he broke into the home, initially looking for Speaker Pelosi.
DePape, who is a Canadian national in the US illegally and who had been working as a landscape gardener before the attack, also told Hurley during an interview that he planned to attack California Gov. Gavin Newsom and actor Tom Hanks as part of his twisted revenge plot.
When Paul told DePape his wife was not at home and asked why he was looking for her, the alleged intruder said it was because she was second in line to the presidency.
“He wanted to show Nancy Pelosi … that there are consequences to their [politicians’] actions,” Hurley testified during the Dec. 14 preliminary hearing.
Nancy was in Washington, DC, at the time of the attack. During the preliminary hearing, prosecutors also displayed the hammer DePape allegedly used to violently beat Paul.
Paul managed to call 911 and calmly told the dispatcher a stranger was inside his home.
San Francisco Police Officer Kyle Cagney testified that when he and another officer arrived at the Pelosi home and knocked on the front door at about 2:20 a.m., he saw Paul and DePape standing in the doorway.
“They were both grabbing a single hammer. The man on the left, Pelosi, was holding the head of the hammer while [DePape] had the handle,” Cagney said.
Cagney said he saw DePape raise the hammer and step forward before he brought the weapon down on Pelosi’s head “really hard,” causing the 82-year old to drop to the floor and lose consciousness.
DePape faces multiple federal and state charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and threatening a family member of a public officials.
Prosecutors also allege DePape caused great bodily injury to Paul Pelosi and was armed with a hammer at the time of the alleged attack.
DePape is scheduled to return to court on February 23 to set a date for a jury trial.
“Mr. DePape will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and held accountable for his heinous crimes,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement after Wednesday’s hearing.