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Suspect in hammer attack on Paul Pelosi due in court in San Francisco

Suspect in hammer attack on Paul Pelosi due in court in San Francisco

Members of law enforcement work outside the home of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi where her husband Paul Pelosi was violently assaulted after a break-in at their house, according to a statement from her office, in San Francisco, California, U.S., October 28, 2022.

The man accused of beating U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer during a struggle in the couple’s San Francisco home was expected to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.

David Wayne DePape, 42, was scheduled for a hearing where he will be advised of the state court charges against him: attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, elder abuse and threatening a public official. read more

It was not clear if DePape would be in court for the arraignment or if he would appear via video link from jail or a local hospital, where he was transported after his arrest.

Federal prosecutors have charged him separately with assault and attempted kidnapping. He is not yet scheduled for a court appearance in the federal case.

The attack has stoked fears about politically motivated violence one week before midterm elections that will decide control of Congress.

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, was in Washington at the time of the pre-dawn assault.

Her husband, Paul Pelosi, 82, a real estate and venture capital executive, has undergone surgery for skull fractures and injuries to his hands and right arm. He remained hospitalized on Tuesday.

“Paul is making steady progress on what will be a long recovery process,” Nancy Pelosi, who is also 82, said in a statement on Monday.

DePape was arrested by San Francisco police after Paul Pelosi placed an emergency 911 call reporting an intruder, according to an FBI affidavit filed in the federal case.

Officers recovered zip ties in the bedroom and in the hallway near the front door as well as a roll of tape, rope, a second hammer, a pair of gloves and a journal in DePape’s backpack, the affidavit said. The intruder had broken in through a glass door to the residence.

Paul Pelosi told police he was asleep when a stranger armed with a hammer crept into his second-floor bedroom and awakened him, demanding to speak with his spouse, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities said police officers arriving at the Pelosi home saw DePape and Pelosi struggling over a hammer. As the officers shouted at the two men to drop the hammer, DePape yanked it away and struck Pelosi in the head before being subdued and taken into custody.

The state charges are punishable by a prison sentence of 13 years to life. The federal charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 50 years, the Justice Department said in a statement announcing the charges.

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