David Debape was convicted in a hammer attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband
David Debape, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who attacked Nancy PelosiHusband in their San Francisco home, convicted of attempted kidnapping and assault.
The federal jury’s decision on Thursday comes after a dramatic trial Paul Pelosi testified About the “painful” hammer attack he suffered on October 28, 2022, days before the midterm elections. Debab also took a stand in his defense, saying that he planned to interrogate the former Speaker of Parliament and post footage of her online.
The jury deliberated for about eight hours before convicting DePape of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault of a member of a federal official’s immediate family. There was no reaction from Dibab, who faces up to 50 years in prison, when the verdict was read in court.
DePape’s defense attorneys argued that he fell into conspiracy theories that influenced him to commit the crimes. DePape admitted in his own testimony during the trial that he stormed Pelosi’s house with the aim of holding the former Speaker of the House of Representatives hostage, and that he hit Paul Pelosi with a hammer after police officers appeared at the house.
Debabe, 43, echoed right-wing conspiracy theories and told jurors he planned to dress up as an inflatable unicorn and record his questioning of Nancy Pelosi for uploading to the Internet. Prosecutors say he had rope and zip ties with him. Investigators also found body cameras, a computer and a tablet.
A date for sentencing has not yet been set.
At a news conference outside the federal courthouse where the ruling was read, U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey told reporters: “People can believe what they want and engage in an emotional debate. But this guilty verdict on all counts sends a clear message that regardless of your beliefs, what you cannot do is attack a member of Congress or their immediate family while doing their job.
At the beginning of the attack around 2 a.m., Debab smashed down a door at the back of Pelosi’s house and confronted Paul Pelosi, then 82, who was asleep, prosecutors said. Debab allegedly said: “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?” As is I stood over Paul Pelosi With zip ties and a hammer in his hands. Nancy Pelosi was in Washington, D.C., during the break-in.
Paul Pelosi was able to call the police, and when two officers arrived, the officers saw Dieppe hit the speaker’s husband in the head, knocking him unconscious. Paul Pelosi was taken to the hospital with a fractured skull and injuries to his hands and arm. Part of the incident was captured on police body camera footage, and an FBI agent testified that the video indicated that DiPepe struck him at least three times.
“It was a tremendous shock when I realized that someone had broken into the house and I looked at it and I looked at the hammer and the bands, and I realized I was in grave danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” Pelosi said. He told the jury.
More than a year after the attack, Paul Pelosi said he has not yet fully recovered. The neurosurgeon who operated on him testified that Pelosi suffered injuries to his head, including a fracture to his skull that had to be repaired with plates and screws that he will suffer from for the rest of his life. Pelosi also needed stitches for injuries to his right arm and hand, the surgeon said.
DePape has a documented history of Promoting conspiracy theories And far-right messages. On Facebook, he shared videos falsely claiming the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump and misinformation about the January 6 insurrection.
In court, Debab cried as he spoke about his political beliefs, explaining how he supported unfounded narratives that a ring of pedophiles was behind the US government. He also said he wanted to talk to Nancy Pelosi about the 2016 election, and that he intended to question her while wearing an inflatable unicorn costume.
“It was never my goal and I’m sorry he got hurt,” Debab said He said about Paul Pelosi.
Debab and his lawyers did not deny committing the attack. His lawyer, Jody Lenker, said he was not targeting Nancy Pelosi in retaliation for her official duties, but rather because of conspiracy theories he believed in “with every ounce of his being.” in Editorial remarksShe said he was trying to stop child abuse and corruption: “This is not murder. “But what the government has failed to acknowledge is the ‘why’ – and the ‘why’ is important in this case.”
Debab faces separate charges in state court, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, residential burglary, and elder abuse. He faces a possible life sentence in the state case and has pleaded not guilty, but no trial date has been set.
The Associated Press contributed reporting