The man accused of attacking the husband of former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year wants his federal trial moved from San Francisco because of the city’s high level of media attention, which they claim will prevent them from giving him a fair trial.
On Wednesday, David DePape is scheduled to appear in federal court. His attorneys will petition the judge to shift the trial to the nearby Oregon city of Eureka. The federal trial will begin on November 13th.
His federal public defenders, Jodi Linker and Angela Chuang assert that San Francisco Bay Area media coverage of the case has corrupted the jury pool. According to a survey they commissioned, many prospective jurors already think he is guilty of the murders and wouldn’t be persuaded to think differently.
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In order to kidnap the former speaker, who was out of town, DePape allegedly broke into the Pelosis’ San Francisco home on October 28. Instead, he allegedly assaulted her 83-year-old husband with a hammer. The political world was rocked by the violence.
DePape, 43, entered a not-guilty plea to federal charges of assaulting a federal official’s family member and attempting to kidnap a government official. Additionally, he entered a no-contest plea to state counts of attempted murder, burglary, and elder abuse. He’s still being held without bond. There is no fixed date for the state trial.
Linker and Chuang both expressed concern that possible jurors in San Francisco would be biased against DePape due to Nancy Pelosi’s continued popularity in the Bay Area despite being as the city’s representative in Congress since 1987.
The assault on Paul Pelosi, the 911 call, and a police interview with DePape soon after his detention were all seen on tape, they claimed, and the story has been heavily covered by Bay Area media sites.
In January, after a California judge rejected prosecutors’ attempt to keep the attack’s video secret, it was made public.
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