David DePape says he never meant to hurt Paul Pelosi

David DePape, the man convicted of hitting Paul Pelosi with a hammer, spoke out in a San Francisco federal court Tuesday morning saying he never meant to hurt the husband of the former speaker of the house.

On May 17, U.S. District Court Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley initially sentenced DePape to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of attacking Pelosi in October 2022.

But during that sentencing hearing, she did not give him the opportunity to speak in his own defense.

DePape addressed the court directly, saying: "I never meant to hurt him," and "I feel horribly for hurting Mr. Pelosi."

He said looking back he could see he was not doing well, and that he should have left the home when he found out that Nancy Pelosi wasn't here. 

DePape read from a piece of paper and appeared to break down, crying as he spoke slowly to the court.

Corley said it was nice to hear from him, but she needs to consider a sentence that would deter any future attempts on the family members of public figures.

Corley also said that his defense team does have the right to appeal her 30-year sentence.

UCSF School of Law Professor David Levine says it's unlikely the sentence in federal court will be overturned. "They forgot to go through that formality and everybody agreed it was a mistake," said Levine. "So, now it's been corrected. So, yes, it creates a point of appeal. It's not going to be successful because what an appellate court will do is say, 'yes it was an error. But it's been corrected.'"

Meanwhile, DePape is facing a trial in California state court; and attorneys on Tuesday debated over whether that trial should proceed.

DePape's defense team argued that he should not be charged twice for the same acts, that would amount to double jeopardy.

The judge deferred making a ruling on that, so the state case will get underway tomorrow with opening statements and witnesses ready to take the stand.

After the prosecution winds up, the judge will rule whether the jury should consider all the charges or if there is some overlap with federal charges.

Levine says the judge may have offered a narrow path for prosecutors to follow. "The prosecutors, they know what they have to do," said Levine. "So, I would be very surprised if they've structured the case with any risk of double jeopardy."

That case is expected to run about two weeks.