A man accused of assaulting the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was “evil in Washington” and named other targets including actor Tom Hanks, a court heard.
David DePape is accused of breaking into the Pelosis home in San Francisco on October 28 in an attempt to kidnap the speaker – who was not there.
Instead, she beat her husband of 82 years, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer – with the vicious attack that sent shockwaves through the political world.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy ruled that prosecutors showed enough evidence during a pretrial hearing Wednesday to move forward with a trial on the state charges, including attempted murder.
Lt. Carla Hurley, who interviewed DePape for an hour on the day of the attack, testified that the defendant had told her of other people he wanted to target, including Academy Award winner Hanks, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
The officer did not say whether the police had any evidence of a conspiracy against them.
Fellow police officer Kyle Cagney said he saw both DePape and Mr. Pelosi holding hammers when the door opened.
He told the court that DePape did not follow the officers’ commands to drop the weapon and instead lunged at Mr. Pelosi, swinging the hammer at him.
Mr Pelosi was knocked unconscious before waking up in a pool of his own blood.
He later underwent surgery to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands.
Lt. Hurley said DePape told her he was looking for Mrs. Pelosi and told her husband that was not part of the plan.
He added that DePape still told Mr. Pelosi, “I can take you out, I can take you out.”
Lt. Hurley said DePape told her that after spotting the lights of a police car, he told Mr. Pelosi, “I’m not giving up, I’m here to fight. If you stop me from chasing people, you’ll take the punishment.” instead”.
Prosecutors showed the hammer that was allegedly used in the courthouse attack during Wednesday’s proceedings, which was attended by Christine Pelosi, one of the Pelosi’s five adult children.
The District Attorney’s Office played the audio of Mr. Pelosi’s 911 call to the SFPD in the courtroom.
They also showed less than a minute of video footage from body cams that captured the attack. The 911 dispatcher was widely credited with sending two officers to the couple’s home despite limited information.
DePape, wearing an orange jumpsuit to Wednesday’s hearing, pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges, including attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse.
He remains in custody without bail. He is due back in court on December 28.
Mrs. Pelosi was in Washington at the time of her husband’s attack and under the protection of his escort, which does not extend to family members.
Last month, he said he would don’t run again to be the democratic leader in the House of Representatives, after nearly two decades in the role.