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Decide Dismisses Tried Homicide Cost in Paul Pelosi Assault

A San Francisco judge on Thursday dismissed some of the most serious state charges against the man who invaded Nancy Pelosi’s home and bludgeoned her husband with a hammer in 2022.

Judge Harry M. Dorfman of San Francisco County Superior Court granted a request from defense lawyers to throw out the charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, according to a court spokeswoman. The defendant, David DePape, still faces five other charges, including false imprisonment, felony burglary and aggravated kidnapping.

Mr. DePape was convicted in November of two crimes in a separate federal trial: attempted kidnapping of a federal officer and assault on an immediate family member of a federal official. He was sentenced last month to 30 years in federal prison.

Mr. DePape’s defense lawyers in the state trial, which began last week, argued that prosecuting him again at the state level amounted to double jeopardy. Mr. DePape, they said, had already been convicted of crimes for the same acts for which he was now on trial.

After Judge Dorfman dismissed some of the charges, both the prosecution and defense asked for a pause in the case so an appeals court could weigh in. The trial is expected to resume on June 14, and Mr. DePape could face up to life in prison on the remaining charges.

The attack at the Pelosis’ house in San Francisco took place in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, 2022, raising fears about politically motivated violence just before the midterm election.

Mr. DePape, who was 42 at the time, broke into the house through a back door on a hunt for Ms. Pelosi, who was then the speaker of the House. Once inside the home in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, Mr. DePape called out repeatedly, “Where’s Nancy?” Ms. Pelosi was in Washington, and Mr. DePape instead encountered Paul Pelosi, asleep in the couple’s bedroom.

At the federal trial last year, Mr. Pelosi, who was 82 at the time of the attack, recounted how he was able to surreptitiously call 911 from his bathroom. When police officers arrived, they found Mr. Pelosi and Mr. DePape standing in the foyer, each with a hand on a large hammer that Mr. DePape had brought with him.

It was then, according to trial testimony and footage from police body cameras, that Mr. DePape was able to take control of the hammer and bash Mr. Pelosi in the head, leaving him bloodied on the ground. Mr. Pelosi underwent surgery for two skull fractures and spent six days in the hospital.

Mr. DePape’s lawyers in the state trial declined to comment on Thursday. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, was not immediately available to comment.

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

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