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David DePape has been found guilty on two federal felony charges for hitting then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, on the head with a hammer last year as part of a plan to target prominent government figures.
DePape, 43, faces up to 20 years for attempted kidnapping of a federal official and up to 30 years for assaulting an immediate family member of a federal official. NBC News reported that DePape’s head was lowered and he showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
The verdict comes after days of testimony from Pelosi and DePape. Pelosi, 83, who sustained severe head injuries in the attack, said it left him with persistent headaches and dizzy spells. DePape told the jury that he hatched a plan to take down government figures after buying into right-wing conspiracy theories and that he did not intend to hurt Pelosi.
His lawyers argued that he did not target Nancy Pelosi at her San Francisco home to influence her in her official duties as House speaker, and thus the charges did not apply. After eight hours of deliberations over two days, the jury ultimately did not agree with DePape’s defense.
“Speaker Pelosi and her family are deeply grateful for the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes for Mr. Pelosi from so many across the country during this difficult time,” her office said in a statement released after the verdict. “The Pelosi family is very proud of their Pop, who demonstrated extraordinary composure and courage on the night of the attack a year ago and in the courtroom this week. Thankfully, Mr. Pelosi continues to make progress in his recovery.”
DePape’s day in court isn’t over. He has pleaded not guilty to California state felony charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. A date for the state trial has not been set.
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