The man who attacked the husband of former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year will stand trial in San Francisco, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
David DePep’s federal public defenders, Judy Linker and Angela Chuang, had requested that the federal trial be moved to the neighboring Oregon city of Eureka. He argued that his client would not get a fair trial because media attention has tainted the jury pool and because Pelosi, who has represented the city since 1987, remains a popular figure in the Bay Area.
DePape’s lawyers said a survey they commissioned showed many potential jurors already believed he was guilty of the crimes and would be unable to change their minds.
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According to San Francisco StandardJudge Jacqueline Scott Corley said DePeep’s lawyers had failed to show evidence that media coverage in the Bay Area was more negative than anywhere else.
Prosecutors say DePep broke into the Pelosi’s San Francisco home on Oct. 28 and tried to kidnap the former speaker — who was out of town — and instead beat her 83-year-old husband to death with a hammer. Footage of the attack was released to the public in January after a California judge denied prosecutors’ request to keep it secret.
De Pape, 43, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of attempted kidnapping of a federal official and assaulting a family member of a federal official. He pleaded not guilty to state charges including attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He remains in jail without bail.
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DePepp’s federal trial is scheduled to begin on November 13. His state trial has not been scheduled.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.