December 1, 2022

David Wayne DePape, the suspected attacker in the assault of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul, pleaded not guilty to all state charges in San Francisco court Tuesday. 

DePape entered the court in an orange jump suit, his right arm was in a black sling. Showing no emotion, he avoided eye contact in the court room. 

The 42-year-old has been charged with attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a public official and their family. The Justice Department has also charged him with assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and attempted kidnapping of a federal official. 

According to court filings, DePape broke into the Pelosi home in San Francisco and he encountered Paul Pelosi, whom DePape allegedly assaulted with a hammer, court documents said. The FBI affidavit filed in the federal case against DePape also said that the San Francisco police “recovered zip ties in Pelosi’s bedroom and in the hallway near the front door of the Pelosi residence.” 

He told San Francisco police after his arrest that, “If Nancy [Pelosi] were to tell DePape the ‘truth,’ he would let her go, and if she ‘lied,’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps,'” so that she would have to be wheeled into Congress.   

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David Wayne DePape in court on Nov. 1, 2022. 

Vicki Behringer


According to other court documents filed Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press, while at the scene of the attack, the suspect told officers that he was sick of the “lies coming out of Washington D.C.”

“I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission,” the suspect allegedly told officers, per the court documents. “I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life.”

Law enforcement sources told CBS News on Sunday that DePape had a list of potential other targets, and the AP reported that court documents revealed that DePape allegedly told first responders those targets included local professor, as well as several prominent state and federal politicians and members of their families.  The filing did not name any potential targets.

CBS News also confirmed Tuesday that there were cameras outside the Pelosi home that captured the break-in. However, Capitol Police only learned of the break-in after an officer department’s command center saw a police cruiser in the Pelosis’ driveway and alerted superiors.

No security alarm went off during the break-in, CBS News also learned, even after the suspect broke the glass.

This was first reported by The Washington Post. 

DePape could face decades behind bars if found guilty on the state and federal charges. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins on Monday said the state and federal cases will work in tandem. 

Jenkins said investigators believe DePape intended to murder Paul Pelosi and that his actions were politically motivated.

 “What is clear, based on the evidence that we have thus far, is this house and the speaker herself were specifically targets of the defendant,” Jenkins said Monday. 

In a Monday night statement, the speaker said her husband is “making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process.” 

DePape faces potentially decades behind bars if convicted of the state and federal charges. He is currently in county jail. 

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