The man accused of brutally attacking former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s wife has apologized in court, describing conspiracy theories as to why he went to the couple’s San Francisco home to end what he considers corruption in the government.
In remarks that lasted more than an hour, a tearful David DePape explained how he moved from the political left to the right after reading a comment on a YouTube video about former President Donald Trump.
“When he was on the ground breathing, I really feared for his life,” DePape said in federal court in San Francisco. FOX San Francisco reported. “And later in the hospital, I felt really bad for him because we had a great relationship and things were going well until the last second.”
Prosecutors allege that DePape entered the Pelosi home in the evening hours of October 28, 2022, in an attempt to locate Nancy Pelosi. On Monday, Paul Pelosi testified that DePape repeatedly asked where her husband was.
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“The door opened and a huge man came in with a hammer in one hand and some rope in the other and he said, ‘Where’s Nancy?’ and I think I woke up,” Pelosi said. “I’m asleep, and he burst in the door and that woke me up.”
“It was such a shock to recognize that someone had entered the house and looked at him and looked at the hammer and the ropes, I knew I was in serious danger, so I tried to stay as calm as possible,” he said. .
DePape said he went to the Pelosis’ home to talk to Nancy Pelosi about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, and that he plans to wear an inflatable unicorn costume and upload his interrogation of her online.
Paul Pelosi called the police during the home invasion but DePape hit him with a hammer when officers arrived.
DePape, 43, said he felt bad for Pelosi after hearing testimony from a neurosurgeon who operated on her after the attack and testified that Pelosi had two wounds to her head, including a fractured his skull that had to be fixed with plates and screws. Pelosi also needed stitches for injuries to her right arm and hand.
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“He was never my target and I’m sorry he was hurt,” DePape said. “I reacted because my plan was really ruined,” he said when asked why he attacked Pelosi.
DePape testified that she was first drawn to conspiracies after learning about “Gamergate,” an online harassment campaign against women in the video gaming community that took place about a decade ago. He said he often plays video games for up to six hours a day while listening to political podcasts.
He said he believes news outlets have repeatedly lied about the former Trump, specifically citing CNN. DePape repeated baseless claims, including a QAnon conspiracy theory that the US government is run by a cabal of devil-worshipping pedophiles, but he did not address them on Tuesday.
He said his other targets included a women’s and queer studies professor at the University of Michigan, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, actor Tom Hanks and President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. He told jurors he heard about the professor while listening to conservative commentator James Lindsay.
“The takeaway I got was that he wants to turn our schools into pedophile molestation factories,” said DePape, a Canadian citizen who immigrated to the US more than 20 years ago.
The anonymous professor testified that some of his writings were misrepresented to fit an anti-gay movement narrative. US District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley ordered that her name not be placed in the public record because of threats against her.
Asked by DePape’s defense attorney if he supported child abuse, the professor replied, “Absolutely not.”
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He said that after Paul Pelosi was attacked, the FBI informed him that he was DePape’s prime target. He said he told university administrators and they took steps to protect him, his students, and other staff.
Other witnesses included Daniel Bernal, Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco chief of staff, and DePape’s neighbor Elizabeth Yates, who said she allowed him to shower at her home once a week.
Closing arguments are expected on Wednesday. DePape faces life in prison if convicted.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.