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  5. Paul Pelosi attacker could go away for 40 years — on enhanced charges of terrorism

Paul Pelosi attacker could go away for 40 years — on enhanced charges of terrorism

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

Paul Pelosi attacker could go away for 40 years — on enhanced charges of terrorism
  • David DePape is facing a 40-year sentence for his attack on Rep. Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul.
  • Prosecutors have included a terrorism enhancement in their sentencing request.

David DePape is facing a possible 40-year sentence for his 2022 attack on Paul Pelosi, husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

In a sentencing memo filed Friday and reviewed by Business Insider, prosecutors requested a terrorism enhancement be added to DePape's sentence.

DePape still faces additional charges related to the attack, including attempted murder, that carry a potential sentence of 13 years to life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.

Paul Pelosi suffered two skull fractures that required surgery to fix after DePape struck him in the head with a hammer in October 2022.

The attack occurred after DePape broke into Pelosi's San Francisco home, seeking to kidnap then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and break her kneecaps to teach her that her "lies and corruption had a price," according to the memo.

DePape was found guilty of the attack in November after about eight hours of jury deliberation. His sentencing is set for May 17.

"The nature and circumstances of the offense warrant statutory maximums on each count," prosecutors argued in the sentencing memo. "The core of both crimes — the attempted kidnapping of a public official and the assault on the family member of a public official — is violence aimed at punishing the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Both crimes are an assault on our democracy and fundamental values."

While it is unclear exactly how often a terrorism enhancement is added to criminal cases, research published by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism indicates prosecutors are about four times more likely to pursue the enhancement in international cases than they are in cases involving domestic extremists. Of the more than 1,200 people who have been charged in connection with the January 6 attack on the Capitol, only a handful had a terrorism enhancement applied to their case, the research notes.

Lawyers for DePape and the prosecutors in this case did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider. A spokesperson for Rep. Pelosi also did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.




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