A preliminary hearing date has been set for the accused attacker of Paul Pelosi, David DePape, in the state case against him — and the initial judge assigned to the case has decided to recuse herself.
There was a status hearing Monday in San Francisco in the state case against DePape, the 42-year-old East Bay resident who allegedly broke into the Pelosis' Pacific Heights home on October 28, threatened to harm Nancy Pelosi, and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer. In the month since the incident, we've learned plenty about DePape's background — including the fact that he's a Canadian national who never had U.S. citizenship, and took a journey from far-left-wing conspiracy enthusiast to far-right-wing QAnon zealot and general bigot in the last five or six years.
DePape was not present at today's hearing, as KRON4 reports, but he was represented by his public defender, Adam Lipson.
The preliminary hearing date in the case was set for December 14 by Judge Loretta Giorgi, but the hearing will take place in the courtroom of Judge Stephen Murphy, as Giorgi is recusing herself. The judge disclosed earlier this month that she had a long ago personal connection to the Pelosis' daughter, Christine Pelosi, with whom she worked in the City Attorney's office in the 1990s.
"Mr. DePape is expected to be present in court for the preliminary hearing on December 14," District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement. "At the preliminary hearing the District Attorney’s Office will present evidence to support the state’s charges against Mr. DePape which include attempted murder, first-degree residential burglary, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and threatening family members of public officials. We will not be disclosing the evidence and/or any witnesses to be called to testify prior to the preliminary hearing."
Lipson did not request that Judge Giorgi recuse herself, as the Chronicle reports, but she is apparently opting to herself. Lipson said in a statement to the Chronicle, "There is nothing about Judge Giorgi’s minimal history with Christina Pelosi that would lead me to believe she would be a biased in this case especially, considering her minimal role."
In his first court appearance earlier this month, DePape pleaded not guilty to the state charges — and Lipson has implied that he may be seeking an insanity defense or some sort of question of competency.
Simultaneously, DePape faces charges in federal court of attempted kidnapping of a federal officer, and assault of an immediate relative of a federal officer, charges to which he pleaded not guilty on November 15. These charges carry with them a combined 50 years in prison, and a half million dollars in fines. He's being represented in federal court by court-appointed attorney Angela Chuang.
Top image: Left: Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Image; right: California DMV via CNN