Judge Dismisses Key State Charges Against Paul Pelosi’s Attacker

In a significant legal decision, a judge has dropped several major state charges against David DePape, the man who attacked Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, during a home invasion in October 2022. This comes after DePape was already sentenced to 30 years in prison last month for federal offenses related to the same incident.

Federal Conviction Recap

David DePape was convicted in federal court for assaulting Paul Pelosi and attempting to kidnap Nancy Pelosi. During the trial, DePape admitted he intended to capture Nancy Pelosi and force her to confess to what he claimed were lies about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. This brutal attack left Paul Pelosi, then 82, with severe injuries, including a fractured skull that required surgery just days before the 2022 midterm elections.

State Charges and Legal Challenges

Despite the federal conviction, California prosecutors pursued additional charges against DePape, including attempted murder, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon. However, DePape’s defense argued that pursuing these state charges would be double jeopardy, as they arose from the same incident covered in the federal trial.

Judge’s Ruling

On Thursday, the judge agreed with DePape’s defense and dismissed the state charges of attempted murder, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon.

The judge ruled that trying DePape again for essentially the same crime, even under different charges, would violate double jeopardy protections that prevent an individual from being prosecuted twice for the same offense.

Remaining Legal Issues

While these significant charges have been dismissed, DePape still faces several other serious state charges, which were not addressed in the federal trial. These include:

  • False imprisonment
  • Residential burglary
  • Threatening a family member of a public official
  • Attempting to sway a witness
  • Aggravated kidnapping

DePape has pleaded not guilty to these remaining charges. The state trial will proceed on these counts, and if convicted, DePape could face additional penalties.

The Attack’s Impact

The attack on Paul Pelosi was a shocking event, capturing national attention and highlighting the dangers faced by public officials and their families.

Police body camera footage from the night of the attack shows a harrowing struggle between DePape and Pelosi over a hammer, which DePape eventually used to severely injure Pelosi. Paul Pelosi has been recovering from a fractured skull and permanent damage to his arm and hand since the attack.

What’s Next?

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has not yet commented on the judge’s decision. As the state trial continues, the focus will now shift to how these remaining charges are addressed. The case remains a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities of public officials and the complexities involved in the judicial process for high-profile crimes.

Leave a Comment