David DePape pleads not guilty to federal charges in attack of Paul Pelosi at family's SF home

Stephanie Sierra Image
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
DePape pleads not guilty to federal charges in Paul Pelosi attack
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David DePape, the man accused of attacking Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, has entered a plea of not guilty to federal charges.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The man charged in the violent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband pled not guilty Tuesday to federal attempted kidnapping and assault charges.

It's been roughly two and a half weeks since David DePape was arrested at Speaker Pelosi's home after allegedly breaking in and violently attacking her husband Paul with a hammer. Christine Pelosi, one of their five children, watched in the back of the courtroom as the 42-year-old Canadian suspect walked into federal court handcuffed without a sling.

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

"Any defense lawyer would advise their client to plead not guilty initially. 99 percent of criminal defendants would be pleading not guilty at this point," said 22-year veteran criminal defense lawyer Adam Gasner.

Courtroom sketches show DePape standing without a mask next to his appointed federal public defender Angela Chuang. Chuang is not seeking early release for DePape, which means he will return to state custody at the San Francisco Sheriff's Office until his next federal court appearance on Nov. 30.

Gasner says it's premature to discern which direction the case is going to go, but pointed out a vast majority of cases in state and federal court are resolved by plea bargain.

RELATED: David DePape indicted by federal grand jury for October attack of Paul Pelosi at family's SF home

"If you want to look at the odds, this case will resolve by way of a plea bargain at some point," Gasner said. "However, this is a very publicized case. Very unusual situation. That really remains to be seen."

In addition to the federal charges, DePape is facing six other state felony charges including attempted murder. According to the federal indictment, DePape had a "target list" and allegedly planned to target other state and federal officials.

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

The I-Team spoke with San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins about the reported list last week.

Stephanie Sierra: "Will that list ever become public?"

DA Jenkins: "At this time it's hard to say. It very well may be part of the evidence at the preliminary hearing, I would expect it to be part of the evidence at the trial, should there be one, but right now we still have a long way to go."

The federal attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and the federal assault charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

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