Could Paul Pelosi Attacker Spend Life in Prison? Here’s What We Know

Featureflash Photo Agency /
Featureflash Photo Agency /

David DePape, 44, stands at a critical juncture in his life, facing the sobering possibility of spending the remainder of his days in a California prison alongside an existing 30-year federal sentence. This stark reality follows a recent verdict from a San Francisco jury, convicting him on a series of serious state charges:

  • First-degree burglary
  • False imprisonment
  • Threatening a family member of a public official
  • Aggravated kidnapping
  • Using force or threats to prevent or dissuade a witness.

The jury carefully deliberated from June 18 to June 21 before reaching a decision, signifying the latest progression in a legal saga stemming from an alarming incident in October 2022. In a chilling encounter captured on police body cameras, DePape unlawfully entered the San Francisco home of Paul Pelosi, husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The footage vividly depicts a harrowing struggle wherein Pelosi sustained severe injuries, including a skull fracture, during a desperate altercation over a hammer.

The trajectory of events leading to DePape’s conviction sheds light on a troubled individual deeply entrenched in fringe ideologies and conspiracy theories. Testimony during the federal trial portrayed him as fixated on securing a confession from Nancy Pelosi, driven by a distorted sense of justice stemming from his isolation and radicalization by his children’s mother.

While DePape’s defense team successfully argued for the dismissal of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse charges due to double jeopardy concerns, the gravity of his convictions underscores the severity of the October incident. Despite receiving a 30-year sentence in federal court for his role in assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting kidnapping, DePape’s legal battles are far from over as he prepares to challenge his state-level conviction. As the legal process moves forward, the looming prospect of a sentencing hearing for the state charges—where a potential life sentence in a California prison hangs in the balance.