A United States man has appeared in court docket on Wednesday to face a proper arraignment after being accused of breaking into the house of Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi and beating her husband with a hammer.
David DePape of Richmond, California, entered a plea of “not responsible” on Wednesday to 6 state costs – together with tried homicide and assault with a lethal weapon – in relation to the October assault that left 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a fractured cranium, in addition to accidents to his arms and arms.
DePape, 42, is scheduled to return to court docket on February 23, when a choose is about to contemplate a trial date. He continues to be held in custody with out bail. DePape additionally faces federal costs for a similar assault.
The break-in and beating occurred 11 days earlier than the US confronted its midterm elections, with management of Congress hanging within the steadiness.
As the primary girl ever to function the Speaker of the US Home of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has been a keystone determine within the Democratic Celebration, shaping and rallying assist for its laws. She is at present second in line to the presidency and would take energy if US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had been ever incapacitated.
In an interview with the San Francisco Police Division, DePape allegedly mentioned he focused Pelosi as a result of he felt she was “chief of the pack” and he wished to confront her over what he believed to be Democrat lies.
In response to federal investigators, he deliberate to shatter Pelosi’s kneecaps if he thought she was mendacity, so she must enter Congress in a wheelchair, exhibiting different lawmakers that “there have been penalties to [their] actions”.
Prosecutors have sought to hyperlink DePape to far-right conspiracy theories, saying he aimed to strike a blow in opposition to what he thought of “tyranny”. A San Francisco police sergeant testified earlier this month that DePape mentioned there was “evil in Washington”, referring to the Democrat-led authorities.
DePape can also be alleged to have in contrast his actions to that of the Founding Fathers, a set of outstanding US leaders who opposed British rule through the American Revolution.
The break-in started within the early hours of October 28, 2022, when DePape reportedly used a hammer to enter by means of a glass door of the Pelosi household’s San Francisco house. Hoping to search out Nancy Pelosi, he as a substitute discovered Paul, her husband of practically 60 years.
Paul Pelosi reportedly advised DePape that the Home Speaker wouldn’t be house for a number of days and DePape determined to attend for her return, taking out a set of zip ties to restrain Paul.
However whereas the 2 males spoke, Paul Pelosi managed to slide into a rest room and dial 911 for emergency companies.
Although the decision was brief, a dispatcher despatched police to the house. Officers arrived to find the 2 males grappling over DePape’s hammer, with DePape wresting the software from Paul Pelosi’s hand and swinging it at his head.
Paul Pelosi misplaced consciousness and later wakened in a pool of his blood. He has since worn a hat and gloves to cover his accidents throughout public appearances.
Together with costs of tried homicide and assault with a lethal weapon, DePape additionally faces state costs together with elder abuse, first-degree residential housebreaking, false imprisonment and threatening a member of the family of a public official.
His federal costs embrace one depend of assaulting the member of the family of a US official and one depend of tried kidnapping in opposition to a US official, which carry most sentences of 30 and 20 years in jail, respectively.
Within the weeks after the assault, the November midterm elections resulted within the Democratic Celebration retaining a slim majority in the US Senate. However the get together misplaced its maintain over the House of Representatives, the place Pelosi serves as Home Speaker.
When the newly elected Congress convenes on January 3, Pelosi is predicted to cede the place to Republican Kevin McCarthy. Pelosi has additionally introduced she will step down because the Democrat chief within the Home, with New York consultant, Hakeem Jeffries, set to take her place as chair of the Democratic caucus within the new yr.
Pelosi has spent 35 years in Congress, representing the California district that features a part of the populous, left-leaning San Francisco Bay Space. She plans to stay in workplace.