Monday, January 30, 2023
Jan. 30, 2023

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New judge named in Pelosi attack suspect David DePape’s case

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A new judge will be taking over the criminal case against David DePape, the man facing attempted murder and other state charges in connection with the attack against Paul Pelosi in San Francisco last month.

Prosecutors and DePape’s public defender met for a status hearing on Monday where it was announced that San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy would be taking over the case, said Randy Quezada, communications director for the San Francisco district attorney’s office.

Though the initial judge assigned to the case, Loretta Giorgi, had previously said she worked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, according to Quezada, the potential conflict of interest “was not objected to by us or defense counsel,” he said.

Jessie Seyfer, a spokesperson for the San Francisco public defender’s office, also confirmed that there “was no issue with the previous judge.”

“The case was assigned a new judge … which is customarily what happens as cases proceed toward trial — cases often have a different judge for preliminary hearings and trials than they do for arraignments,” Seyfer said.

Murphy’s assignment to the case “was accepted by all counsel,” Quezada said.

In a statement earlier Monday, Dist. Atty. Brooke Jenkins said DePape’s preliminary hearing was confirmed for Dec. 14.

“DePape was not present for today’s status hearing,” Jenkins said. “All counsel met today to confirm their readiness for the preliminary hearing and accepted assignment to Judge Murphy. Mr. DePape is expected to be present in court for the preliminary hearing on Dec. 14.”

Preliminary hearings are held so a judge can determine whether there is enough evidence against a defendant for the case to proceed to trial, according to the Judicial Branch of California.

DePape, 42, faces charges of attempted murder, first-degree residential burglary, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and threatening family members of public officials, Jenkins said.

He also faces federal charges in connection with the attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: one count of assault upon an immediate family member of a U.S. official with the intent to retaliate against the official on account of the performance of official duties; and one count of attempted kidnapping of a U.S. official on account of the performance of official duties, according to a criminal complaint released this month by the U.S. Department of Justice.

During the Oct. 28 attack, DePape allegedly broke into the Pelosis’ home where Paul Pelosi was asleep, authorities said. DePape demanded to see the House speaker, who was not at home.

DePape allegedly struck Paul Pelosi on the head with a hammer after police arrived, authorities said.

A Canadian citizen, DePape moved to California more than 20 years ago and was in the U.S. illegally, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A Times review of his online accounts showed that DePape has been involved in the world of far-right conspiracies, antisemitism and hate.

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