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Nandika Chatterjee

Pelosi attacker gets 30 years in prison

David DePape, the man convicted of breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home and brutally attacking her husband with a hammer, was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison, the Associated Press reported.

DePape, 44, was found guilty last November. He was given credit for the 18 months he's been behind bars since the October 2022 assault.

In sentencing DePape, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said she took into consideration the fact that he had no prior record, but noted that his extreme politics  he espoused far-right politics on his personal blog  led him to commit a violent crime.

“He actually went to the home, that is completely, completely unprecedented," Corley said.

Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, suffered two head wounds in the attack, including a skull fracture that had to be mended with permanent plates and screws. His right arm was also injured.

Despite the brutality of the crime, the attack was mocked by the likes of Donald Trump Jr., who promoted a conspiracy theory that DePape was an estranged lover, not in fact a supporter of his father, the former president.

During this trial testimony, DePape admitted that he broke into the Pelosis’ home in San Francisco on October 28, 2022, with the intent of holding the speaker hostage and to “break her kneecaps” if she lied to him. He also confessed to bludgeoning Paul Pelosi with a hammer, adding that his plan was to end what he perceived as government corruption.

The attack on Paul Pelosi, which occurred a few days before the midterm elections, was captured on a police body camera video

DePape also admitted to jurors that he had planned on wearing an inflatable unicorn costume when recording his interrogation of Nancy Pelosi, who turned out not to be home at the time of his intrusion. DePape had rope, zip ties, and body cameras on his person.

Paul Pelosi testified at the trial too. He recounted being awakened by a large man who burst into his bedroom asking, “Where’s Nancy?” When he told the man that his wife was in Washington, DePape responded by tying him up, intending to wait for his wife's return.

“It was a tremendous sense of shock to recognize that somebody had broken into the house, and looking at him and looking at the hammer and the ties, I recognized that I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” Pelosi told jurors.

In state court, DePape was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, and residential burglary among other felonies. The jury selection in that trial is expected to start Wednesday.

Aaron Bennet, a spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi, welcomed news of the sentence.

“The Pelosi family couldn’t be prouder of their Pop and his tremendous courage in saving his own life on the night of the attack and in testifying in this case,” he said. “Speaker Pelosi and her family are immensely grateful to all who have sent love and prayers over the last eighteen months, as Mr. Pelosi continues his recovery."

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