Pelosi attacker David DePape sentenced to 30 years in prison

A federal judge on Friday sentenced David DePape, the man convicted of breaking into former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco and attacking her husband, Paul, with a hammer, to 30 years in prison. 

Before U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley handed down her decision, Nancy Pelosi asked the judge for a "very long" sentence. 

"The Pelosi family couldn’t be prouder of their Pop and his tremendous courage in saving his own life on the night of the attack and in testifying in this case," Nancy Pelosi said in a statement afterward, adding that she wouldn't be commenting further. 

Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy and Paul, read statements from both parents describing the impact the attack has had on the Pelosi family. "Ever since the defendant violently broke into my home and woke me up yelling, 'Where’s Nancy?' at 2:00 a.m. on October 28, 2022, my life has been irrevocably changed," Paul Pelosi's statement read. 


Paul Pelosi suffered two head wounds in the attack, including a skull fracture that was mended with plates and screws he will have for the rest of his life. His right arm and hand were also injured.

DePape was given 20 years for one count and 30 years for another count. The sentences will run concurrently. He was also given credit for the 18 months that he’s been in custody.

DePape stood silently as his sentence was read in a San Francisco courtroom. 

Corley said she took into account when giving DePape’s sentence the fact that he broke into the home of a public official, an unprecedented act in the history of the country.

"He actually went to the home, that is completely, completely unprecedented," she said.

The FBI also said the sentence should be lengthy. "The brutal attack on Paul Pelosi in his home was not only an attack on an individual, but an assault on the very principles and safety and civility that form the bedrock of our democracy," said Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sergio Lopez.

Prosecutors had asked that DePape spend 40 years behind bars, saying that he had failed to take responsibility for his crimes and had not shown remorse. They also argued that his violent plot amounted to terrorism. 

Prosecutors specifically pointed to a January 2023 phone call to KTVU reporter Amber Lee, during which he apologized to the American people, saying he should have come "better prepared" to the Pelosis' home on the night of the attack.

"You’re welcome," he told the TV station. "The tree of liberty isn’t dying. It’s being killed, systematically and deliberately." He added, "The tree of liberty needs watering."

DePape’s attorneys, federal public defenders Jodi Linker and Angela Chuang, had requested a 14-year prison sentence, citing their client’s "abusive, long-term relationship with a partner who exploited his innate vulnerabilities and immersed him in a world of extreme beliefs where reality is not reality."

The U.S. Probation Office recommended 25 years, followed by five years of supervised release.


David DePape apologizes for hammer attack on Paul Pelosi

David DePape testified, tearfully at times, in his own defense on Tuesday about attacking Nancy Pelosi's husband in the couples' San Francisco home.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Ismail J. Ramsey released a statement read by a spokesperson outside the court today. "Today's sentence reflects David DePape's lack of remorse and contrition for violently assaulting Mr. Pelosi. The court's sentence will ensure that DePape will not be able to use violence to pollute the political process."

In 2023, a federal jury found DePape guilty of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assault on the immediate family member of a federal official.

DePape's attack on Paul Pelosi in October 2022 was captured on police body camera video.

DaPape, 44, admitted to carrying out the attack on Oct. 28, and said his plan was to end what he viewed as government corruption.

DePape testified that his plan was to get Nancy Pelosi and other targets to admit to their corruption. He said he bludgeoned Paul Pelosi after realizing his larger plan might be unraveling.

DePape's family was at the courthouse today, his son speaking out after the sentence. "I think that's quite sad, said DePape's son Nebosvod Gonzalez. "I think that's a really long time, because if you think it, he's already near 50. He's basically…it's a death sentence." 

A second trial in state court will start next week. 

In that case, DePape is facing charges in San Francisco Superior Court including attempted murder, residential burglary, seriously injuring an elder adult, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and threatening a public official’s family member.

Jury selection in that trial is expected to start Wednesday.

KTVU's Christien Kafton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.