Trial begins for man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi with hammer

DePape, 43, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault of an immediate family member of a federal official.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
The federal trial for Paul Pelosi's alleged attacker, David DePape, kicked off at the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco on Thursday after jury selection was completed earlier this week.

DePape, 43, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault of an immediate family member of a federal official. If convicted, he faces up to 50 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

According to the New York Post, the trial is expected to last through next week, and will include testimony from numerous witnesses. Among those listed by the prosecution are the surgeon who operated on Pelosi, San Francisco police officers, first responders, and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nancy Pelosi is not expected to testify.

Pelosi, 82, was violently attacked on October 28 of last year in the San Francisco home he shares with his wife. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins stated that DePape allegedly broke in through a rear glass door and snuck into the Pelosis' bedroom, where Paul was sleeping. 

Mr. Pelosi managed to call police from the bathroom, and when officers arrived, they discovered him and DePape struggling over a hammer, which the latter used to strike the former in the head.

He was promptly arrested and taken into custody. Mr. Pelosi suffered a fractured skull, an injury from which he recovered. Mr. Pelosi said DePape was there for his wife, and had allegedly screamed "Where's Nancy?" The former House Speaker was in Washington, DC at the time.

DePape, originally from Canada, has a history of drug abuse and mental illness, and had recently begun regurgitating conspiracy theories about the US government.

"Freedom and liberty isn't dying, it's being killed systematically and deliberately," he told a television reporter in January, adding, "The tree of liberty needs watering. He needs men of valor, patriots willing to put their own lives on the line to stand in opposition to tyranny."

DePape has also pleaded not guilty to a number of felonies unrelated to the federal complaint including charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, residential burglary, false imprisonment of an elder, elder abuse, and threats to a public official and her family.

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