A Canadian man who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer in his San Francisco home has been found guilty.
David DePape, a former nudist from Canada, entered the Pelosis’ mansion through a back door in the early hours of October 28, 2022, and punched Paul, the 82-year-old husband of former House Speaker Nancy.
The jury deliberated for about eight hours before finding David DePape guilty of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. DePape, who faces up to 50 years in prison, did not react as the verdict was read in a San Francisco court on Thursday.
The attack, captured on police body camera footage, left Paul Pelosi in hospital with a fractured skull.
During closing arguments, attorneys argued that DePape was embroiled in conspiracies and motivated by his political beliefs, not because he wanted to interfere with Nancy Pelosi’s official duties as a member of Congress.
San Francisco Police body camera image shows David DePape with Paul Pelosi at Pelosi’s San Francisco home in the early hours of October 28, 2022. DePape was found guilty of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. He faces a prison sentence of up to 50 years
Attorney Angela Chuang delivered closing arguments Wednesday
Prosecutors say DePape admitted to breaking into Pelosi’s San Francisco residence with the intention of getting the senior Democrat to acknowledge her party’s “lies” — on pain of breaking her kneecaps. She was not home at the time
When DePape found only her then 82-year-old husband at home, she participated in what he told officers was a “pretty amicable” exchange, during which Paul Pelosi, pictured, managed to summon police assistance .
Prosecutor Helen Gilbert said the defense had drawn a false distinction between the California Democrat’s politics and official duties and that DePape failed to distinguish between the two.
DePape’s lawyer admitted to carrying out the attack, which he testified was part of a “major plan” to expose Hunter Biden.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi said she and her family were “deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes.”
“The Pelosi family is very proud of their father, who showed extraordinary calm and courage on the night of the attack a year ago and in court this week,” spokesman Aaron Bennett said.
While testifying Tuesday, DePape cried on the stand and apologized for hitting the House Speaker’s husband but admitted he wanted to question Nancy and was willing to break her kneecaps if she had been home.
He told the court: ‘I wanted to ask her a question about Russiagate, film it and put it online.
“I was planning on wearing the unicorn costume and recording it with the body camera I was given. I kind of expected her to come with me and tell me what I wanted to hear.”
Court records of DePape’s Amazon purchases in the months before the attacks showed a list of items he allegedly took to the crime scene.
They include a camping backpack, computer cables, body cameras, crayons and, bizarrely, two Spooktacular unicorn costumes.
DePape added that after hitting Pelosi, he felt “really bad” for him.
He told the court: ‘As he lay bleeding on the ground I was really scared for his life. I really felt sorry for him because we had a really good relationship until the last second.
“I reacted because my plan was basically ruined. He was never targeted and I’m sorry he was hurt.”
Prosecutors played body camera footage of the attack and DePape watched without hesitation.
Graphic footage of the hammer attack showed an officer shining a flashlight and confronting DePape with Pelosi in the doorway.
As the two struggle, DePape raises his gavel and hits Pelosi over the head, knocking him to the ground three times.
A screenshot of security footage shows DePape outside the Pelosi House
Paul Pelosi was hit multiple times with the hammer, rendering him unconscious as officers rushed in and arrested DePape
Another video showed blood pouring from Pelosi’s head, his hands soaked red, as paramedics tended to him.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephanie Minor testified that they monitored web activity on DePape’s hard drive, including a series of Nancy Pelosi-related searches in the days leading up to the attack.
She testified that there were about 50 video surveillance cameras that recorded DePape’s journey to carry out the hammer attack.
Paul Pelosi took the stand during the trial and recounted the horrific experience.
“The door opened and a very, very large man walked in with a hammer in one hand and a pair of ties in the other,” Pelosi told the court.
“He said, where’s Nancy?
“He burst through the door and woke me up.”
While testifying for about an hour, Pelosi told the court about his efforts to alert 911 to the threat without prompting DePape to attack him.
He described negotiating with DePape to go downstairs, where Pelosi hoped he would be rescued by police. And he talked about ‘waking up in a pool of blood’.
Pelosi said he has not fully recovered from his injuries. A neurosurgeon who operated on him testified that Pelosi had two wounds to his head, including a skull fracture that required repair with plates and screws that will affect him for the rest of his life.
During the trial, the prosecutor played a recording of a phone call DePage later made with a news reporter that said, “I have an important message for everyone in America. Don’t mention it.’
When authorities arrested DePape, they found a manifesto with anti-government beliefs and a list of other politicians he planned to target.
He also pleaded not guilty to charges in state court of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other crimes.
No state trial has been scheduled.