David DePape, the 42-year-old man who broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home early Friday morning and violently assaulted her husband, Paul Pelosi, 82, pleaded not guilty at the San Francisco Superior Court on Tuesday.
DePape faces several state charges including assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening a public official in connection with the attack.
DePape could face 13 years to life in prison if convicted. He is set to appear in court again Friday for his bail hearing. In the meantime he remains in lock up at a San Francisco jail.
DePape also faces two federal charges: attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assaulting an immediate family member of a United States official with the intent to retaliate against the official. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.
Police say DePape attacked Pelosi with a hammer after officers arrived on the scene about 2:30 a.m Friday morning. Pelosi was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a skull fracture. He also suffered serious injuries to his right upper limb. Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery, but he still remains in the hospital.
Prosecutors say DePape’s plan was to hold Speaker Pelosi hostage and ask her about the “truth.” If she answered without lies he planned to release her, but if she “lied,” he would “break her kneecaps.”
He told investigators that “by breaking Nancy’s kneecaps, she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions.”
Police recovered zip ties, along “a roll of tape, white rope, one hammer, one pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and a journal,” according to court documents.