Man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband with hammer convicted of attempted kidnapping

Split image. Left image: David DePape. Right image: Nancy Pelosi.
David DePape (left) has been convicted after attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband Credit: AP

A man who attacked former US House speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband with a hammer after breaking into their family home has been convicted of assault and attempted kidnapping.

David DePape, 43, was caught on police body camera video attacking Paul Pelosi in 2022, just days before the United States midterm elections were due to take place and now faces up to 50 years in prison.

During trial testimony, he admitted to breaking into the Pelosis' home, with the intention of holding Ms Pelosi hostage and to "break her kneecaps" if she lied to him.

DePape also admitted to bludgeoning Mr Pelosi with a hammer after San Francisco police officers arrived at the property.

Paul Pelosi (right) was attacked by David DePape with a hammer. Credit: AP

DePape's lawyer had argued that he was caught up in conspiracies and motivated by his political beliefs, rather than wanting to interfere with Ms Pelosi's official duties as a member of Congress.

His testimony echoed right-wing conspiracy theories and explained how he had planned to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and record his interrogation of Ms Pelosi to upload it online.

DePape said he then planned to move on to other targets, including actor Tom Hanks and US President Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

Mr Pelosi also testified during the trial, recalling how he was awakened by a large man bursting into his bedroom and asking: "Where's Nancy?"

He said when he responded that his wife was in Washington, DePape said he would tie him up while they waited for her to return.

David DePape admitted to planning to hold Nancy Pelosi hostage. Credit: AP

"It was a tremendous sense of shock to recognise that somebody had broken into the house and looking at him and looking at the hammer and the ties, I recognised that I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible," Mr Pelosi said.

He described how he managed to call police with DePape looking on, urging Mr Pelosi to tell police that he was a friend.

Mr Pelosi recalled being thankful when the police arrived, only for DePape to then hit him with the hammer. He said he woke up in a pool of his own blood.

More than a year after the attack, he still has not fully recovered, Mr Pelosi said.

A neurosurgeon who operated on him testified that Mr Pelosi had two wounds on his head, including a fracture to his skull that had to be mended with plates and screws, which he will have for the rest of his life.

DePape is also facing a raft of charges relating to a separate state trial, which is due to get underway later in November.

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