“It’s something we have to take very seriously,” Jenkins said.
DePape faces 13 years to life in prison for the state charges, the prosecutor told reporters.
The defendant, who lived in a rented garage across the bay in Richmond, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in San Francisco on the charges against the state, which include residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse and false imprisonment of an elderly person – Paul Pelosi, 82, who police say was woken up and forced downstairs during the attack.
Jenkins and federal authorities said it was clear DePape entered the house wishing to injure the Speaker of the House, who was in Washington at the time of the attack.
The attempted murder charge alone carries a significant risk of imprisonment for DePape, said Adrian Carpenter-McKinney, a professor at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and former assistant secretary for legal affairs under the former Governor Jerry Brown.
“That one charge could land him in jail for the rest of his life,” Carpenter-McKinney said.
But, she noted, it may also be difficult to prove that DePape intended to kill Pelosi, 82, as they struggled with the mugger’s hammer in the entryway of the couple’s home. in Pacific Heights as two responding police officers arrived on the scene. before dawn Friday. “To show that the intent was to kill someone, those are usually very difficult charges,” she said.
The state’s other charges will be simpler, legal experts said, based on what has come out so far in a detailed affidavit filed in federal court.
“The assault is pretty damn clear — I mean, they hit him with a hammer,” said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Marymount University law professor and former federal prosecutor.
Clearly more facts will emerge as prosecutors build their case, Levenson said, noting that the current charges operate as “placeholders” to keep DePape in custody. They also serve the function of “reassuring the public that this is taken as seriously as it should be,” she said.
DePape, who does not yet have legal representation, spoke to authorities after the attack according to a federal affidavit, outlining his intentions to break Nancy Pelosi’s kneecaps unless she told “the truth.” Authorities also saw DePape hit Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer and knock him unconscious, according to federal documents.
Prosecutors planned to file a motion to hold DePape without bail, based on “obvious and serious risks to public safety,” Jenkins said.
“He definitely committed what we believe was attempted murder,” she told reporters.
District Attorney Jenkins said no security was present as the intruder walked through a glass door. and headed to Pelosi’s bedroom, where he slept in a “loose pajama shirt and boxer shorts”.
She said Pelosi first tried to get to a home elevator, which has a phone, to call the police, but DePape blocked him. This was after he asked to go to the bathroom, where he was able to call 911 from a cellphone that was charged there.
The district attorney included specific details — noting, for example, that Pelosi and her attacker were the only ones at home at the time — in what appeared to be an effort to counter the false allegations circulating on social media. by Republican opponents of the speaker. , including Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana and Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son.
All the evidence, she said, suggests a political motive. “It’s very sad to see that we are once again at a point in history where people believe it’s okay to express their political feelings through violence,” Jenkins said.