Man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband breaks out in tears in trial, shows little remorse

Stephanie Sierra Image
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi breaks out in tears during trial
The man accused of attacking former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband with a hammer last year testified in his defense Tuesday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The man charged with the attack on Paul Pelosi testified in his federal criminal trial Tuesday along with one of the targets on his so-called hit list.

Jurors listened to a chilling hour of testimony as defendant David DePape took the stand, often breaking out into tears, as he described conspiracies about 'Hollywood pedophiles' and his attempt to 'search for the truth', showing little remorse for the attack on Paul Pelosi.

DePape says he lived in Hawaii for two years before moving to the Bay Area to work as a carpenter.

He told the jury he would spend his off-time sitting in the garage where he lived, playing video games, watching YouTube and listening to right-wing podcasts.

RELATED: Paul Pelosi testifies in trial against man accused of attacking him with a hammer at SF home

Paul Pelosi recounted publicly for the first time Monday what happened the night he was attacked by a man in the San Francisco home.

DePape testified that one of those podcasters, James Lindsay, talked extensively about Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and a University of Michigan professor, also known as Target one on his so-called hit list.

DePape admitted to the jury he went to the Pelosi's home last October to discuss Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

"I believe he wants to testify, he wants to tell his story and if there are jurors on this panel that feel empathetic to him, believe him, all it takes is one," said Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Adam Gasner.

Gasner says DePape didn't meet the bar for a federal insanity defense.

"It does appear in many ways that we could all say objectively that Mr. DePape seems to be mentally ill," Gasner said. "But to reach the bar, you have to show by clear and convincing evidence that he doesn't know the conduct and he doesn't appreciate the gravity of it... that's not the case here."

TIMELINE: Latest updates after Paul Pelosi attacked inside San Francisco home

DePape told the jury he only remembered hitting Paul Pelosi once with the hammer. Yet, the surgeon who treated Mr. Pelosi at SF General testified he had injuries from being hit three times, including a five centimeter laceration at the top of his head close to a critical blood vessel.

Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley told the jury during opening statements the crux of this case comes down to the facts and whether or not the evidence supports the charges.

The defense spent a significant amount of time Tuesday attempting to paint the picture that DePape's actions were not motivated by Nancy Pelosi and her official duties as a member of Congress. But even the judge pointed out in pre-trial discussion, the evidence refutes that.

VIDEO: Jury pool for man charged with attack on Paul Pelosi discuss politics, biases, QAnon

Jury pool for David DePape, the man charged with attack on Paul Pelosi in his San Francisco home last year discuss politics, biases and QAnon.

When asked about whether or not DePape had planned to break the kneecaps of the former Speaker, he testified "the choice is on her, depending on if she can tell the truth."

"Ultimately he is making the case for the government, he is showing it was Nancy Pelosi and her official duties that was at the heart of his actions," said Gasner.

In cross examination, the government showed internet images found on DePape's laptop of Pelosi's home vandalized with pigs blood and a person defecating on her property.

DePape's target one, Gayle Rubin, a University of Michigan professor who teaches anthropology and women and gender studies, also testified. The defendant believed a false theory that she supports child pedophilia. The defense asked questions about her sex-related papers criticized by the right-wing media.

VIDEO: Nancy Pelosi reveals how she first heard about attack on her husband at SF home

Nancy Pelosi revealed how she got the news that her husband, Paul, had been attacked inside the family's San Francisco home by David DePape.

The jury also heard testimony from the former Speaker's Chief of Staff who was asked about the difference between her political and official business, campaign rules, and the schedule she had in Washington the day of the attack.

Before that, a retried legal analyst who knew DePape from his work as a carpenter also testified about their apparent friendship and his "search for the truth." The woman said she would often let DePape take showers in her home.

The jury will begin deliberations on Wednesday morning. DePape has pled not guilty to federal assault and attempted kidnapping charges.

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