Published18 hours ago
The man accused of a hammer attack on the husband of House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi also wanted to target other public figures, including actor Tom Hanks, a court has heard.
A police officer who interviewed David DePape told the hearing that President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom were also on the suspect’s “hit list”.
Mr DePape is facing six charges, including attempted murder, for the 28 October incident. He pleaded not guilty to all counts last month.
At the end of Wednesday’s nearly four-hour hearing, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Stephen Murphy ruled there was enough evidence for the trial to proceed.
Officers testified about how they responded to the attack on Paul Pelosi at the family home in the California city.
According to prosecutors, the defendant had planned to hold Mrs Pelosi hostage, but she was in Washington DC at the time.
The emergency call placed by Mr Pelosi, 82, was played to the court.
According to KRON4 News, the 911 audio suggested Mr Pelosi did not know Mr DePape.
The dispatcher asked: “Do you know who the person is?”
“No, I don’t know who he is,” Mr Pelosi responded.
Police Sgt Kyle Cagney testified that he had arrived at the house seconds before Mr DePape swung the hammer on to Mr Pelosi’s head, cracking his skull.
The officer displayed the weapon to the court.
The court also saw police body camera footage in which officers directed the suspect to drop the hammer, before he said “Uh, nope” and bludgeoned Mr Pelosi.
Sgt Carla Hurley testified that she had interviewed the suspect for over an hour on the day of his arrest.
She told the court of Mr DePape’s alleged hit list, but did not say whether police had any evidence of such a plot.
Sgt Hurley quoted Mr DePape as saying: “There is evil in Washington, what they did went so far beyond the campaign. It originates with Hillary [Clinton].
“Honestly, day in day out, they are lying. They go from one crime to another crime to another crime.”
Mr DePape attended the court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. One of the Pelosis’ five adult children, Christine Pelosi, also attended.
Police have previously said Mr DePape told them he was on a “suicide mission” when he smashed in the glass backdoor of the Pelosi home in the upmarket Pacific Heights neighbourhood.
Mr DePape is scheduled to be back in court for a formal reading of the charges on 28 December.