David DePape is set to stand trial this Thursday following his high-profile arrest for the violent assault on Paul Pelosi, husband to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in their San Francisco home last year.
The attack, which left Pelosi with severe injuries, could lead to a life sentence for DePape on charges of attempted kidnapping and assault of a federal official's family member, the Washington Examiner reported.
Prosecutors assert that DePape broke into the Pelosi residence on October 28, 2022, confronting and assaulting Paul Pelosi. The incident, which involved a desperate 911 call from Pelosi and a subsequent police intervention, ended with Paul Pelosi being struck in the head with a hammer and DePape's apprehension.
The suspect's reported admission to police of a "suicide mission" intent on abducting and harming Nancy Pelosi has stirred discussions about political violence and its connections to extremist rhetoric. DePape's eclectic past, ranging from affiliation with the Green Party to radical shifts towards alt-right conspiracy theories, has been a focal point in understanding his motivations.
The Examiner reported:
The Canadian-born carpenter has a twin sister, Joanne Robinson, who lives in New Zealand and faded from his life more than two decades ago. About 11 years ago, DePape joined a coalition of nudist activists who showed up naked on the streets of San Francisco to protest restrictions the Board of Supervisors approved that year.
When DePape was in his 30s, he aligned himself with Gypsy Taub, whom the San Francisco Chronicle described as a "high-profile nudist" and "9/11 denier" who disrobed during a hearing inside City Hall.
DePape lived with Taub, her fiance Jaymz Smith, and their three children in a three-bedroom Victorian flat in Berkeley, where DePape made jewelry out of hemp. In voting records, he was listed as a member of the left-leaning Green Party.
As jury selection concluded on Monday, with DePape appearing in court, the anticipation builds for Paul Pelosi's testimony. The defense's failed attempt to relocate the trial due to extensive pre-trial publicity leaves DePape facing his legal battles in San Francisco.
DePape, who has entered a not guilty plea in response to state charges, including attempted murder, awaits the unfolding of both federal and state cases against him. All eyes are on the courtroom as the proceedings commence, with uncertainty remaining over whether DePape will take the stand in his defense.