Attack on Paul Pelosi: Suspect David DePape pleads not guilty to charges



CNN

The man accused of assaulting the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi entered a second not-guilty plea to face charges on Wednesday, waiving his right to a speedy trial.

David DePape – who has been charged with a range of felonies including assault and attempted murder – has made a plea deal in San Francisco Superior Court.

Appearing before Judge Teresa Caffese, DePape said just one word in court, answering “yes” when asked if he was waiving his right to a speedy trial. He is scheduled to return to the San Francisco Superior Court in February when a trial date is expected to be set.

A second felony charge is common in California after a preliminary hearing in which a defendant must comment on all charges. DePape pleaded not guilty in a first appearance in early November shortly after his arrest.

DePape, who has also pleaded not guilty to a list of federal charges, broke into the Pelosi’s home in October and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, according to court records.

Suspect David DePape is featured in this courtroom sketch.

He told federal investigators he was looking for Nancy Pelosi, and he said he plans to kidnap the speaker of the House and break “her kneecaps” if she lied, the affidavit said. CNN previously reported that DePape shouted, “Where’s Nancy?” as he entered the home.

DePape told officers and medics at the scene that he was fed up with the “level of lies” coming out of Washington, DC, and “came down here to have a little chat with his wife,” according to a court filing. “I didn’t really mean to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide squad. I will not stand here and do nothing, even if it costs me my life.”

After the attack, Paul Pelosi underwent surgery “to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for the Speaker, said in a statement at the time.

DePape had also planned to target President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, the California governor. Gavin Newsom and actor Tom Hanks, an officer with the San Francisco Police Department, testified this month.

DePape “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and held accountable for his heinous crimes,” San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a post-indictment statement Wednesday.

Public Defender Adam Lipson declined to comment after Wednesday’s rapid hearing. One of the Pelosi’s daughters, Christine Pelosi, was present at the hearing.

This story has been updated with additional information and reactions.

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