David DePape Pleads Not Guilty Over Paul Pelosi Hammer Attack

The man accused of sending House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband to the hospital with a fractured skull last week pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance on Tuesday for state-level charges.

A judge ordered 42-year-old David DePape to be held without bail, reports say, on charges that include attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse.

DePape was arrested at the Pelosi family’s San Francisco home in the early hours of Friday morning shortly after he allegedly attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer. The 82-year-old underwent successful surgery for the extensive injuries to his head and body, but his recovery process will be a long one, according to his wife’s office.

Local law enforcement arrived on the scene around 2:30 a.m. and promptly tackled DePape, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott later said at a press conference. DePape was also sent to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The suspect appears to have been inundated by right-wing conspiracy theories, including some that involved the House speaker.

Judge Diane Northway signed a protective order forbidding DePape from contacting Nancy or Paul Pelosi, and from coming near their home, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Northway set his next court appearance for Friday, Nov. 4, per CNN.

No cameras were allowed in the courtroom.

Federal prosecutors are also pursuing charges against DePape for the attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official and for retaliation against a federal official by threatening a member of their family.

An affidavit filed in court Monday described how DePape confronted Paul Pelosi, who had been asleep, and demanded to know the whereabouts of Nancy Pelosi. He wanted to “break her kneecaps,” the filing said.

Some conservatives, including former President Donald Trump and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, have fanned the flames of conspiracy theories surrounding the attack. On Tuesday, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said he would be requesting more resources to protect lawmakers.

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