Man broke into former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home in October 2022
A jury on Thursday convicted a Canadian man of federal charges of attempted kidnapping and assault in a 2022 attack on the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
David DePape broke into Pelosi's San Francisco home last year, seeking to hold her hostage, and attacked her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer.
The jury deliberated for about eight hours before finding David DePape guilty of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official.
DePape, who faces up to 50 years in prison, did not react as the verdict was read.
The attack on then-82-year-old Paul Pelosi — which was captured on police body camera video just days before last year's midterm elections — sent shockwaves through the political world.
DePape, 43, admitted during trial testimony that he broke into the Pelosis' home on Oct. 28, 2022, intending to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage and "break her kneecaps" if she lied to him.
He also admitted to bludgeoning Paul Pelosi with a hammer after San Francisco police officers showed up at the home, saying his plan to end what he viewed as government corruption was unravelling.
Defence attorneys and prosecutors did not immediately comment on the verdict. The U.S. Department of Justice planned to hold a news conference later in the day.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. A status hearing is scheduled for Dec. 13.
Defence attorneys argued that DePape was motivated by his political beliefs, not because he wanted to interfere with Nancy Pelosi's official duties as a member of Congress, making the charges against him invalid.
DePape caught up in conspiracies: lawyer
One of his lawyers, Angela Chuang, told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that DePape was caught up in conspiracies.
During her rebuttal, prosecutor Helen Gilbert said the defence had made a false distinction between the California Democrat's politics and official duties and that DePape didn't differentiate between the two.
DePape, a Canadian citizen who moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago, also is charged in state court with assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary and other felonies. A state trial date will be set during a Nov. 29 hearing, said Randy Quezada, a spokesperson for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.
During his testimony, DePape echoed right-wing conspiracy theories and told jurors he had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and record his interrogation of Nancy Pelosi to upload it online.
Prosecutors say he had rope and zip ties with him. Detectives also found body cameras, a computer and a tablet.
DePape testified that his plan was to get Nancy Pelosi to admit that she had been lying to the American people.
"If she lied, I would break her kneecaps," he said. "The choice is on her."
He said he would then move to other targets, including a women's and queer studies professor who testified at the trial, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks and President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca