Judge grants motion to reopen sentencing in case of Paul Pelosi attacker

ByVeronica Miracle and Sarah Moon, CNN CNNWire logo
Monday, May 20, 2024
Judge grants motion to reopen sentencing for Paul Pelosi attacker
A judge has granted a motion to reopen the sentencing in the case against David DePape, convicted of the 2022 attack on Nancy Pelosi's husband.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge has granted a motion to reopen the sentencing in the case against David DePape, the man convicted of the 2022 attack on House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, because he did not get a chance to speak during his sentencing hearing Friday.

The judge will reopen the sentencing portion of the case on May 28 at 9:30 a.m.

In a motion filed Saturday, the court admitted to the mistake, stating that federal rules require the "court, prior to imposing a sentence, to 'address the defendant personally in order to permit the defendant to speak or present any information to mitigate the sentence.' At the May 17, 2024 sentencing proceeding, no party brought to the Court's attention that it had not done so. Nonetheless, it was the Court's responsibility to personally ask Mr. DePape if he wanted to speak. As the Court did not do so, it committed clear error."

The judge sentenced DePape on Friday to 30 years for assault and 20 years for attempted kidnapping, which would run concurrently, for the attack at the Pelosis' San Francisco home. That same day, federal prosecutors filed a motion to reopen the sentencing for "the limited purpose of addressing the defendant to permit him to allocute, if he so chooses, prior to sentencing."

VIDEO: Man sentenced to 30 years for attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband with hammer in San Francisco

David DePape, the man convicted of attacking then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul with a hammer, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

DePape was not required to speak during the hearing, the motion states, but the record shows he didn't get the opportunity to do so. DePape's attorneys told prosecutors they opposed the motion. They separately filed a notice of appeal regarding the "judgment and sentence entered in this matter."

In November, DePape was convicted in a federal court in San Francisco on one count of assault on the immediate family member of a federal official and a second count of attempted kidnapping of a federal official.

At the time, DePape's attorneys conceded that their client attacked the then-83-year-old Paul Pelosi, but argued that his motivation for the assault did not match the charges against him.

Testifying in his own defense, DePape recalled that he was looking for Nancy Pelosi and that her husband was not on his list of targets. He was "surprised and confused," he testified, when he found out the congresswoman was not home.

"I'm telling him, 'I have other targets, but if you stop me, I'll go through you,'" DePape said, recounting a conversation with Paul Pelosi, adding that he then hit Pelosi "in the head," because his plan was "basically ruined."

Pelosi, who underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture and injuries to his hand and arm, told jurors that his recovery has been difficult. "I've made the best effort I possibly can to not revisit this," he said at the time.

A state case against DePape that includes charges of attempted murder, burglary and assault is expected to go to trial this summer.

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