David DePape was found guilty of attempted kidnapping and assault following an attack on Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's husband, in their San Francisco residence.
During a trial marked by vivid recollections, Paul Pelosi detailed his experience of the hammer assault on October 28, 2022, just before the midterm elections. DePape, defending himself, claimed his aim was to question the former House speaker and broadcast it online, The Guardian reports.
The jury, after approximately eight hours of deliberation, convicted DePape of the charges. He could face up to 50 years in prison and showed no visible reaction to the verdict in the courtroom.
DePape's defense team argued that his belief in conspiracy theories motivated his criminal actions. He admitted during the trial that he entered the Pelosi home intending to detain Nancy Pelosi and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer when police arrived.
DePape, 43, shared plans with the jury about donning an inflatable unicorn costume for the intended interrogation of Nancy Pelosi, aiming to upload it online. He was found with various items including rope, zip ties, body cameras, and digital devices.
The sentencing date is pending.
Ismail Ramsey, the US attorney, emphasized at a post-verdict press conference that while individuals are free to hold beliefs and engage in debates, physical attacks on Congress members or their families are unacceptable, as underscored by the verdict.
The prosecution detailed the early morning incident, where DePape broke into the Pelosi home, encountering a sleeping 82-year-old Paul Pelosi. During the break-in, DePape, holding zip ties and a hammer, demanded Nancy Pelosi's whereabouts, who was in Washington DC at the time.
Paul Pelosi shared with jurors his realization of imminent danger during the attack. He still suffers from the attack's effects more than a year later, as testified by the neurosurgeon who operated on him.
In court, an emotional DePape discussed his political beliefs and his adherence to unfounded claims about the US government. He expressed regret over injuring Paul Pelosi, stating Pelosi was not his intended target.
Although admitting to the attack, DePape's lawyer, Jodi Linker, contended that the motive was not retaliation against Nancy Pelosi for her official role but his belief in an obligation to stop a more larger and devious plan to corrupt the nation.
DePape also faces various charges in state court, including attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty in this case, which has yet to commence.
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