Justice Department seeks 40-year sentence for Paul Pelosi attacker


(SAN FRANCISCO) — Federal prosecutors are seeking a maximum sentence for the man who was convicted of breaking into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home and attacking her husband Paul with a hammer in 2022.

The Department of Justice filed a sentencing memorandum Friday in anticipation of next week’s sentencing of David DePape, saying he should be held in prison for 40 years for his crimes.

DePape was convicted in November for the Oct. 28, 2022, break-in and attack of Paul Pelosi.

Paul Pelosi, 84, suffered a skull fracture and was hospitalized for six days. The attack was captured on police body camera footage by officers who responded to the scene.

Federal prosecutors contend that the crime was an act of terrorism and that DePape should get more than the guidelines.

“The defendant planned a violent hostage-taking of the Speaker Emerita, and then nearly killed her husband. The defendant planned and unleashed violence and has stayed true to his belief that the actions were necessary,” prosecutors said in the sentencing memorandum.

The attempted kidnapping charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison while DePape’s second charge carries a maximum of 30 years in prison. Federal prosecutors asked that 20 years of the second charge run consecutively with the first count instead of concurrently.

DePape admitted on the stand that he broke into the home because he wanted to speak with Rep. Pelosi about what he claimed was Russian interference in the 2020 election. He claimed that Paul Pelosi was not his target.

DePape told investigators if she told the truth, he said he “would let her go, and if she ‘lied’ he was going to break ‘her kneecaps,"” according to the criminal complaint.

“The violent lessons that the defendant wanted to teach are not permitted in this country, and the sentence that this court imposes must reflect the nature and circumstances of the offense,” federal prosecutors said in the memorandum.
In addition to the 40-year prison sentence, federal prosecutors want eight years of supervised release when DePape does get out of prison.

DePape’s attorney did not immediately comment on the government’s recommendations.

DePape is also facing state charges in connection with the attack including attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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