SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The man accused of assaulting the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was “evil in Washington” and he was trying to harm Pelosi because she is second in row for the presidency, a San Francisco police investigator testified Wednesday.
Suspect, David DePape, broke into the couple’s San Francisco home on Oct. 28, trying to kidnap the speaker — who was out of town — and instead beat her 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer, they said. said the authorities. The violence sent shockwaves through the political world.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy ruled that prosecutors had shown enough evidence during a pretrial hearing to go forward with a trial on the state charges, including attempted murder. DePape is expected to return to state court on Dec. 28.
Lt. Carla Hurley, who interviewed DePape for an hour on the day of the attack, testified Wednesday that the defendant told her about other people he wanted to target, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks and Hunter Biden, one of President Joe Biden’s sons. Hurley did not say whether police had evidence of a conspiracy against them, and San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said after the hearing she could not comment further.
Authorities had previously said DePape told investigators he had other targets, but a court document said only that he was a local professor, as well as several prominent state and federal politicians and their family members.
DePape, who appeared in court wearing orange prison garb, pleaded not guilty to federal and state charges, including attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He remains detained without bail.
“There is evil in Washington, what they did went way beyond campaigning,” DePape told Hurley, according to a tape of their interview that was broadcast in court.
DePape’s public defender Adam Lipson declined to comment after the judge’s ruling, saying, “We will fight this case in court, not in the hallway.”
In November, Nancy Pelosi said she would step down as House Democrat leader after 20 years, but would remain in office. Her official portrait was unveiled Wednesday in Washington as the court hearing took place more than 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) away.
Paul Pelosi, her husband of nearly 60 years, joined her for the ceremony at the United States Capitol wearing a hat and glove that covered his wounds from the attack.
Hurley, who was a sergeant at the time of the attack and was recently promoted to lieutenant, testified that DePape told Paul Pelosi she wanted to talk to Nancy Pelosi because “she’s second in line for president.”
If the President of the United States and the Vice President become unable to serve, the Speaker of the United States House assumes the presidency.
Hurley also said DePape told her he was looking for the speaker and told her husband that was not part of the plan.
However, DePape told Paul Pelosi, “I can take you out, I can take you out,” Hurley testified.
Hurley said DePape told her that after seeing the lights of a police car, she told Paul Pelosi, “I’m not giving up, I’m here to fight. If you stop me from chasing people, you will suffer the punishment instead.”
Prosecutors presented the hammer that was allegedly used in the assault during Wednesday’s proceedings, which were attended by Christine Pelosi, one of the Pelosi’s five adult children.
The District Attorney’s Office also played audio of Paul Pelosi’s 911 call to the SFPD in the courtroom and showed video – lasting less than a minute – of the attack that was captured on state television cameras. body.
DePape (dih-PAP’) told police he was on a “suicide mission,” court documents say. Authorities said he was attracted to conspiracy theories.
DePape forced his way into the Pelosi home, confronted Paul Pelosi, who was sleeping in boxers and pajama tops, and demanded to know where “Nancy” was, according to court documents.
DePape then told Paul Pelosi that if Nancy Pelosi told him the “truth,” he would let her go, and if he “lied,” he would break her kneecaps,” the criminal complaint alleges.
San Francisco Police Officer Kyle Cagney, who was one of the first two officers to respond, testified Wednesday that he saw both men holding the hammer as the door opened. DePape did not obey the officers’ commands to drop his weapon and instead lunged at Paul Pelosi and threw the hammer at him, Cagney said.
Paul Pelosi was knocked unconscious and woke up in a pool of his own blood. He subsequently underwent surgery to repair a fractured skull and severe injuries to his right arm and hands.
The speaker was in Washington at the time and under the protection of his security detail, which does not extend to family members.
Duty reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed.