SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — David DePape’s case will move forward to trial and the alleged Paul Pelosi attacker will be tried on all charges, a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday. DePape, who appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit Wednesday, was arrested on Oct. 28 after allegedly attacking Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer inside their Pacific Heights home.
On Jan. 27, 2023, police body cam video and audio of the 911 call and SFPD interrogation were released. Find them at the link below:
At today’s preliminary hearing, the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
Follow along for updates:
2:22 p.m. — David DePape will be tried on all charges, judge rules
Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy just ruled that the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has enough evidence against David DePape to move the case forward to trial on all charges.
DePape’s defense attorney never disputed that his client was in fact the person who broke into the Pelosi’s home and beat Paul Pelosi with a hammer. DePape made a full confession to police during interrogations and video of the interrogation was played in court.
The most serious charge is premeditated attempted murder.
Defense attorney Adam Lipson tried to argue that the attack was not premeditated, nor attempted murder.
The defense pointed to DePape’s statements to Mr. Pelosi and police, in which he said he was targeting Nancy Pelosi, not Paul Pelosi, and intended to break Nancy’s kneecaps – not kill her.
However, Judge Murphy disagreed with the defense.
The judge said:
“It appears he formed the intent early on to take out anybody who was in his way. Mr. Pelosi got in his way, in particular when he called 911. After the call, (DePape) told (Paul Pelosi) he can take Mr. Pelosi out. He said this not once, but repeatedly. At least 10 times. It’s worth pointing out Mr. DePape’s own statements. He said they are all ‘crazy and we need to take them out.’ He said Mr. Pelosi pushed him in a corner by calling the police. He also said and admitted ‘I have to do something. I have other targets, I can’t be stopped by him. I’m here for the fight. To fight tyranny. If you stop me from going after evil, you will take the punishment instead,’ further confirming his intent. He hit Mr. Pelosi with full force using a substantial weapon. The evidence is sufficient to show Mr. DePape intended to kill Paul Pelosi and did so with premeditation.”
Assistant District Attorney Phoebe Maffei described DePape’s plot as “cold and calculated.”
“We heard the 911 call. In the 911 call we heard Mr. Pelosi trying very cooling to convey to the 911 dispatcher the situation he was in. Throughout that time, the defendant was trying to sway the victim from getting help. We heard about a motive — to wipe out the people who he believes are corrupt. When describing what he was doing, he said “he’s pushing me into a corner where I have to do something. I have other targets. I can’t be stopped by him. If I have to go through him, I will. I didn’t come here to surrender and I told him I will go through him,” Maffei told the judge.
“The manner in which the defendant intended to kill Mr. Pelosi. The court was able to see the size of the hammer and review the medical records. The most stark picture is in the CT scan where you can clearly see a very large indentation in the victim’s skull. The video and the injuries paint the picture. From the video you can see these were wounds he received because he was trying to defend his head. He was unable to stop the blows from a very large hammer … full force,” Maffei said.
2:00 p.m. — Court sketches show DePape in an orange jumpsuit
In sketches from the courtroom, David DePape is seen sitting by wearing an orange jumpsuit as officers testify about his alleged hammer attack on Paul Pelosi.
12:18 p.m. — DePape reveals Hunter Biden and Gov. Gavin Newsom as among his other targets
San Francisco Police Department Lt. Carla Hurley said when she interrogated David DePape, he revealed that he had other political targets. DePape said he planned to kidnap Hunter Biden, who lives in Malibu, California, so he could talk to Hunter about “all the corruption” in Washington, Hurley testified.
DePape said he planned to travel to Los Angeles to confront Biden at home. (As the son of President Joe Biden, Hunter Biden is protected by Secret Service agents at his Malibu mansion.)
DePape also said he planned to target California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Hurley testified.
DePape told Hurley that he was on a “suicide mission” and would do whatever it took to stop Congress’ “corruption and lies.” Hurley said, in addition to Newsom and Hunter Biden, DePape also had two more targets: Actor Tom Hanks and feminist author Gale Breen.
11:12 p.m. — Body camera video of hammer attack played in court
The prosecutor played a 15-second video clip from an officer’s body worn camera. The body camera recorded the front door opening, the hammer attack, and DePape being tackled and arrested. Reporters in the courtroom gallery could only hear (not see) the video because the TV monitor was facing toward the judge.
Officer: Good morning, what’s going on man?
DePape: Everything’s good.
Officer: Drop the hammer!
DePape: Uh nope.
(Sounds of a struggle are heard as DePape struck Paul Pelosi with the hammer).
Officer: Oh s**!
(The situation turned from calm to chaotic in 2 seconds. One officer charged at DePape and tackled him to the ground. Paul Pelosi was unconscious, facedown on the ground, and in a pool of blood.)
Officer: Backup code 3! Give me your f**king hands! Give me your f**king hands! (Officer had DePape on the ground and was wrestling him into handcuffs.
End of body camera video.
Cross-examination by defense attorney Adam Lipson, deputy public defender:
(The cross exam was extremely brief)
Defense: When the door first opened and you saw Mr. Pelosi, he didn’t appear to have any injuries on him correct?
Officer: None sir.
San Francisco Police Department officer Kyle Cagney was excused from the stand.
Second witness called to the witness stand to testify:
San Francisco Police Department Lt. Carla Hurley
Hurley’s division is in charge of investigating threats against public officials and hate crimes.
She interviewed Paul Pelosi at San Francisco General Hospital on October 30, 2022 for one hour.
Prosecutor: How did he first encounter the suspect?
Hurley: He said this man was in his room and woke him up. (At 2:10 a.m.) He asked him, are you Paul Pelosi? He said yes.
Prosecutor: How did Mr. Pelosi feel?
Hurley: He was startled. (DePape) asked him where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy? He said she’s not here. He asked him when she was going to be back. He told him she’s in Washington and will be back in a couple of days.
He asked the man, why do you want to talk to Nancy? He replied, she was second-in-line for the Presidency and they are all corrupt and we need to take them out.
(DePape) was holding a hammer in one hand and plastic zip cords in the other hand. He said he was going to tie Mr. Pelosi up and wait for her to come back.
Mr. Pelosi dialed 911 on speaker so the defendant would know he was calling police.
Mr Pelosi said he was on the phone and the defendant was telling him things like, tell them you’re ok, hang up, he was motioning for him to hang up the phone, don’t tell them anything.
(After the 911 call) Mr. Pelosi suggested to the defendant that they go downstairs. The defendant had told Mr. Pelosi that he left his backpack downstairs. Mr. Pelosi suggested that hey let’s go downstairs.
Prosecutor: Did (DePape) make threats?
Hurley: He told him several times, I can take you out, I can take you out. Mr. Pelosi was very concerned for his safety. He knew the police were probably on their way so he wanted to get him downstairs. The doorbell rang.
Mr. Pelosi went and opened the door. The defendant came around to the right side of Mr. Pelosi with the hammer. (Mr. Pelosi) grabbed the handle of the hammer. The defendant yanked the hammer away and that’s all he could remember. He woke up in a pool of blood.
Lt. Hurley interviewed David DePape on October 28, 2022. The police interrogation tape was played in court.
(DePape was friendly and blunt during the interrogation. DePape said he did not know what his phone number or home address was.)
Hurley: Where do you stay?
DePape: I know how to get there, I don’t know the address. In Richmond.
(Hurley read DePape his Miranda Rights)
Hurley: Do you know why you are in custody?
DePape: Oh absolutely. I’m not trying to get away with it. I know exactly what I did. The lies are insane. People in Washington. It originates with Hillary. Honestly, day in and day out, the person on TV lying every day was (Nancy) Pelosi. It’s f**king insane the crime spree the Democrats have been on, persecuting the rival campaign.
Hurley: Do you mean the Trump campaign?
DePape: Yes Trump. (The Democrats) go from one crime to another crime. It’s a whole f**king four years. It’s unacceptable.
Hurley: What was your intention going there (Pelosi’s house)?
DePape: Well, I was basically going to hold her hostage and talk to her. If she told the truth, I’d let her go. If she told a lie, I’d break her kneecaps.
Hurley: Did you really think that she would tell the truth?
Hurley: How did you get in?
DePape: It was not easy. There are cameras everywhere. A thousand cameras. I broke through (the glass door with a hammer) and I tried to turn the handle, and of course it’s locked. I body slammed through it. I didn’t feel any pain. I was surprised. All that noise, he did not hear it. He was asleep. I told him I’m looking for Nancy Pelosi. He was like, how can we resolve this? I was like, I don’t know. That’s when he started to do things.
(Paul Pelosi tried to escape in the elevator but was blocked by DePape).
DePape: I told him, I have other targets. I can’t be stopped right now. If I have to go through him, I will.
(Paul Pelosi tried to reassure DePape that the police were not coming.
DePape: I told him I’m not f**king stupid. And you’re not f**king stupid either. There’s no way they got that phone call and are not coming here. I see flashing lights of a police car. The door is open the cops are standing there. (Paul Pelosi) thinks that I’ll just surrender. I told him that I will go through him. I’m there to fight. I threatened him a couple times. I told him I’m here to fight. If you stop me, you will take the punishment instead. I yanked it away from him, I swung at him. I jump into action. They jump into action. They are on top of my instantly.
10:40 a.m. — Prosecutors present hammer allegedly used in attack
A San Francisco police officer testified Wednesday that he witnessed a man attack the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer inside the couple’s home.
DePape, wearing an orange jumpsuit during a preliminary hearing in state court, has pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges, including attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He remains held without bail.
Prosecutors presented the hammer that was allegedly used in the assault during Wednesday’s proceedings, which were attended by Christine Pelosi, one of the Pelosis’ five adult children.
9:51 a.m. — Prosecutors play 911 call Paul Pelosi made to dispatchers
The prosecutor played the 911 call Paul Pelosi made to dispatchers when David DePape was inside the Pelosi home, asking about Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts and holding Paul Pelosi hostage. Prosecutors said Pelosi did his best to tip off the dispatcher that something was wrong without angering DePape, who was standing nearby and listening.
Here is a transcript of the call:
Dispatcher: Who is this? Do you need help?
Paul Pelosi: There is a gentleman here waiting for my wife to come, waiting for my wife to come back. She’s not going to be here for days so I guess we will have to wait.
Dispatcher: Do you need police or fire?
Paul Pelosi: I don’t think so. Is the Capitol Police around? They are usually here at the house protecting my wife.
Dispatcher: No, this is San Francisco police.
Paul Pelosi: No I understand. OK well, what do you think? I’ve got a problem, but he says everything is good. The gentleman came into the house.
Dispatcher: Do you know who the person is?
Paul Pelosi: No, I don’t know who he is. He told me not to do anything.
Dispatcher (speaking in more urgent tone of voice): What is your address sir? What is your name?
Paul Pelosi: My name is Paul Pelosi.
Dispatcher: What’s the gentleman’s name?
Paul Pelosi: His name is David.
Dispatcher: Who is David?
Paul Pelosi: I don’t know.
David DePape: I’m a friend of theirs.
Dispatcher: I can stay on the phone to make sure everything is OK.
Paul Pelosi: No, he’s telling me to get the hell off the phone.
End of 911 call.
8:48 a.m. — Prosecutors arrive at the courthouse
DePape has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, attacking a family member of a public official and elderly abuse. Speaker Pelosi was in Washington D.C. at the time of the attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.