Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband

SAN FRANCISCO — The man who broke into the home of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seeking to hold her hostage and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison.

The attack on Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, was captured on police body camera video just days before the 2022 midterm elections and sent shockwaves through 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.

A jury found David DePape, 44, guilty last November of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official. Prosecutors had asked for a 40-year prison term.

Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley sentenced DePape to 20 years for attempted kidnapping and 30 years for the assault — the maximum for both counts. The sentences will run concurrently. He was also given credit for the 18 months that he’s been in custody.

DePape stood silently as he was sentenced and looked down at times. His public defense attorneys had asked the judge to sentence him to 14 years, pointing out that he was going through a difficult period in his life at the time of the attack, had undiagnosed mental health issues and had no prior criminal history.

At trial, DePape testified that he had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and record his interrogation of the Democratic speaker, who was not at her San Francisco home at the time of the attack, to upload it online.

Ahead of the sentencing, one of his defense attorneys, Angela Chuang, told the judge to consider the prison terms being given to those who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“The five most serious sentences for people who were convicted of seditious conspiracy, of literally conspiring to overthrow the government, range from 15 to 22 years,” Chuang said.

Corley said the Jan. 6 analogy didn’t adequately reflect the seriousness of breaking into an official’s private home. The attack may have a chilling effect on people seeking office in the future, she said.

“They have to think not only, ‘Am I willing to take that risk myself, but am I willing to risk my spouse, my children, my grandchildren?'” the judge said.

Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence on each count and for DePape to serve 10 years concurrently, giving him a 40-year prison term.


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