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Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband also found guilty of kidnapping and faces life in prison

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Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband also found guilty of kidnapping and faces life in prison
News

News

Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi’s husband also found guilty of kidnapping and faces life in prison

2024-06-22 09:59 Last Updated At:10:00

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in the attack against former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was convicted Friday of aggravated kidnapping, a conviction that mandates life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

A San Francisco jury found David DePape also guilty of first-degree burglary, false imprisonment of an elder, threatening a family member of a public official and dissuading a witness.

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FILE – David DePape is seen, Dec. 13, 2013, in Berkeley, Calif. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison in the attack against former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband was convicted Friday of aggravated kidnapping, a conviction that mandates life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

FILE - Paul Pelosi attends a portrait unveiling ceremony for his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in Statuary Hall at the Capitol, Dec.14, 2022, in Washington. David DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi attends a portrait unveiling ceremony for his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in Statuary Hall at the Capitol, Dec.14, 2022, in Washington. David DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body camera video, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, right, fights for control of a hammer with his assailant, David DePape, during a brutal attack in the couple's San Francisco home, Oct. 28, 2022. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body camera video, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, right, fights for control of a hammer with his assailant, David DePape, during a brutal attack in the couple's San Francisco home, Oct. 28, 2022. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse after testifying in the federal trial of David DePape in San Francisco, Nov. 13, 2023. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse after testifying in the federal trial of David DePape in San Francisco, Nov. 13, 2023. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE – David DePape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE – David DePape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

The convictions on the additional charges in the state trial come weeks after a federal judge sentenced DePape, 44, for the 2022 attack against Paul Pelosi.

“Speaker Pelosi and her family remain in awe of their Pop’s bravery, which shone through again on the witness stand in this trial just as it did when he saved his own life on the night of the attack," Pelosi's office wrote in an emailed statement Friday. “For nearly 20 grueling months, Mr. Pelosi has demonstrated extraordinary courage and fortitude every day of his recovery.”

DePape’s public defender Adam Lipson said he was disappointed with the verdict and plans to appeal it. He called the prosecutors’ decision to file a kidnapping for ransom charge “vindictive.”

“It’s really unfortunate that it was charged this way. It was sort of a textbook vindictive prosecution,” Lipson said. “As soon as they found that the attempted murder charge was going to be dismissed, they added this charge.”

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said at a news conference Friday that all charges her office filed against DePape were based on the same evidence.

The jury was “able to find that he was guilty and so there’s no need for any accusations of vindictive prosecution,” she said. “We’re simply trying to do our jobs to make sure that he was held accountable for every act that occurred that night that was criminal."

Lipson earlier argued that the state trial represents double jeopardy following the federal conviction. Even though the criminal counts are not the same, the two cases stem from the same act, he told the judge.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harry Dorfman agreed and dismissed the state charges of attempted murder, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. Another judge upheld the decision on appeal.

Lipson said that the verdict means that after DePape serves 30 years in federal prison, he will be transferred to California “to spend the rest of his life in a California prison.”

Previously, a federal jury convicted DePape of assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting to kidnap a federal official. On May 28, he was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison during an unusual resentencing hearing that resulted from judicial error.

Lipson focused his closing arguments on explaining to the jury that prosecutors did not prove DePape kidnapped Paul Pelosi, who was 82 at the time, with the intent “to exact from another person money or something valuable,” which is integral to the charge.

Assistant District Attorney Phoebe Maffei told the jury in her closing arguments that DePape had planned to record a video of his interrogation of Nancy Pelosi.

Lipson argued the video didn’t exist and if it did, it wouldn’t have had any value.

“When he broke into the Pelosis’ home his intent was to confront and potentially hurt and assault Nancy Pelosi. That was his intent at that time, that has nothing to do with Mr. Pelosi,” he said.

In her rebuttal, Maffei pointed out DePape told a detective and testified in federal court that he planned to get a video of Nancy Pelosi confessing to what he believed to be crimes and post it on the internet.

“There is inherent value in a video of the Speaker of the House confessing to crimes in her own home,” Maffei said.

The Oct. 28, 2022, attack on Paul Pelosi was captured on police body camera video just days before the midterm elections and shocked the political world. He suffered two head wounds including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand were also injured.

DePape admitted during his federal trial testimony that he planned to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage, record his interrogation of her, and “break her kneecaps” if she did not admit to the lies he said she told about “Russiagate,” a reference to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Lipson told the jury during closing arguments that before the attack, DePape was living an isolated, lonely life and “went down the rabbit hole of propaganda and conspiracy theories.”

This week the judge expelled DePape’s former partner from the public gallery and the second floor of the San Francisco courthouse because the judge said she was trying to tamper with the jury.

On Monday and Tuesday, Gypsy Taub, a well-known activist in the Bay Area, handed out pieces of paper outside the courtroom with the address of a website she runs that promotes conspiracy theories. The cards were also found in a women’s bathroom near the courtroom, where the website’s address was scrawled in marker on a wall.

DePape’s federal public defender Angela Chaung said during his federal sentencing that DePape was first exposed to extreme beliefs by Taub, who has two sons with DePape.

Taub met DePape in Hawaii when he was 20 years old and she was in her 30s and pregnant, DePape’s twin sister, Joanne Robinson, said in a letter to the federal judge seeking leniency.

Robinson wrote that Taub isolated DePape from his family and inflicted “extreme psychological damage” on her brother.

FILE – David DePape is seen, Dec. 13, 2013, in Berkeley, Calif. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE – David DePape is seen, Dec. 13, 2013, in Berkeley, Calif. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi attends a portrait unveiling ceremony for his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in Statuary Hall at the Capitol, Dec.14, 2022, in Washington. David DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi attends a portrait unveiling ceremony for his wife, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in Statuary Hall at the Capitol, Dec.14, 2022, in Washington. David DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body camera video, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, right, fights for control of a hammer with his assailant, David DePape, during a brutal attack in the couple's San Francisco home, Oct. 28, 2022. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - In this image taken from San Francisco Police Department body camera video, the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Paul Pelosi, right, fights for control of a hammer with his assailant, David DePape, during a brutal attack in the couple's San Francisco home, Oct. 28, 2022. DePape, who bludgeoned Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer and was sentenced to 30 years in federal court, was also convicted Friday, June 21, 2024, of aggravated kidnapping by a state court which could put him behind bars for life. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse after testifying in the federal trial of David DePape in San Francisco, Nov. 13, 2023. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE - Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse after testifying in the federal trial of David DePape in San Francisco, Nov. 13, 2023. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

FILE – David DePape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE – David DePape is shown in Berkeley, Calif., on Dec. 13, 2013. A judge on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, expelled from court the former partner of the conspiracy theorist charged with breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home in 2022, banning her from the public gallery as DePape's state trial wrapped up. (Michael Short/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Republican vice presidential nominee JD Vance will make his first solo appearances on the campaign trail Monday, a day after the 2024 presidential race was thrown into upheaval as President Joe Biden dropped out of the race, leaving the Democratic candidate an open question.

Vance, an Ohio senator, is scheduled to hold a rally in his hometown of Middletown, followed by an evening event in Radford, Virginia, fresh off his rally debut with Donald Trump over the weekend.

Vance had been expected to eventually face Vice President Kamala Harris in a debate. But with Biden dropping out and the Democratic ticket unsettled, the senator is following Trump’s lead and focusing on attacking Biden and Harris jointly.

“President Trump and I are ready to save America, whoever’s at the top of the Democrat ticket,” Vance said Sunday in a post on X. “Bring it on.”

Trump’s campaign plans to use Vance, who became the GOP vice presidential nominee last week, in Rust Belt states that are seen as pivotal for Democrats’ path to the White House, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and places where the senator’s blue collar roots and populist views are expected to resonate.

Middletown, between Cincinnati and Dayton, is considered to be part of the Rust Belt. Using it as the location for his first solo event as the vice presidential nominee not only allows Vance to lean into his biography, which he laid out in his bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” but it gives the campaign a chance to establish a fresh groundswell in a former swing state that has been trending Republican.

While Republicans promoted a unifying message last week and decried inflammatory language in the wake of the assassination attempt against Trump, one of the first speakers to introduce Vance at the rally suggested the country may need to come to civil war if Trump loses in November.

“I believe wholeheartedly. Donald Trump and Booker County’s JD Vance are the last chance to save our country,” said George Lang, a Republican state senator. “Politically, I’m afraid if we lose this one, it’s going to take a civil war to save the country and it will be saved. It’s the greatest experiment in the history of mankind."

Vendors outside the event removed merchandise referencing Biden and added coffee mugs, T-shirts and other items that featured Vance.

Vance’s second stop is in a part of western Virginia that is considered a part of the Appalachia region. The campaign's decision to send Vance there also signals their confidence in their chances. Virginia is a state that had been a swing state but has gone for Democrats in every presidential election since 2008.

In his speech at the Republican National Convention last week introducing himself to America, Vance spoke about “forgotten communities” where “jobs were sent overseas and children were sent to war.”

The 39-year-old Republican also leaned into his relative youth, contrasting Biden’s decades in government with the milestones in his own life. It’s not clear how Vance will shift his message toward Harris, whom many Democrats were lining up to support, or any other contender for the nomination.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who is seen as a potential Democratic vice presidential candidate, made a point of criticizing Vance for the way he has portrayed Kentucky and the region.

Vance was raised by his grandparents in Middletown, which is not in Appalachia, but spent a significant amount of time traveling to Kentucky with his grandparents to visit family. The senator has said he hopes to be buried in a small mountain cemetery there.

“He ain’t from here,” Beshear told The Associated Press.

The governor took issue with Vance's portrayals in his book of people in Kentucky and eastern Kentucky and suggestions that they were lazy or not motivated to work.

“You don’t get to just come in eastern Kentucky a couple of times in the summer and then maybe for weddings and a funeral and cast judgment on us. It’s offensive,” Beshear said.

Despite his presence on the primetime debate stage and his bestselling book, Vance is still working to introduce himself to voters.

A CNN poll conducted in late June found the majority of registered voters had never heard of Vance or had no opinion of him. Just 13% of registered voters said they had a favorable opinion of Vance and 20% had an unfavorable one, according to the poll.

After Vance was named as Trump’s running mate, a startling number of Republican delegates, who are typically party insiders and activists, said they didn’t know much about the senator.

In his hometown in Ohio, though, he was welcomed as a local star.

Zetta Davidson, 73, a longtime poll worker from Fairborn, Ohio, called it “a wonderful move” for Trump to pick Vance. “I think he’s honest, straightforward, and if it’s not right, he’ll rip it apart,” she said.

A 72-year-old retiree from Middletown, Randy Linville, called Vance an “excellent choice."

“No. 1, he’s young,” Linville said. "Mr. Trump is not that old, but he’s getting up there.”

Vance has served in the Senate for less than two years. He has morphed from being a harsh Trump critic, at one point likening him to Hitler, to becoming a staunch defender of the former president, hitting the campaign trail on his behalf and even joining him at his Manhattan criminal trial this summer.

Price reported from New York. Associated Press writer Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Kentucky, contributed to this report.

Follow the AP’s coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

Attendees wait in line to attend a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Attendees wait in line to attend a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Police snipers stand atop Middletown High School before Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Police snipers stand atop Middletown High School before Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks at a campaign rally, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Supporters wait in line to attend a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Supporters wait in line to attend a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Members of the police department look on at a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Members of the police department look on at a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Police snipers stand atop Middletown High School as supporters arrive to attend a campaign rally with Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Police snipers stand atop Middletown High School as supporters arrive to attend a campaign rally with Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

A cardboard cutout of former first lady Melania Trump appears as supporters arrive at a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

A cardboard cutout of former first lady Melania Trump appears as supporters arrive at a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Supporters arrive at a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Supporters arrive at a campaign rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, at Middletown High School, Monday, July 22, 2024, in Middletown, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak at a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, arrives to speak at a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, Saturday, July 20, 2024, at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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