Opening statements and testimony begins in DePape state trial

The case of the State of California versus David DePape, the man already convicted in federal court of hitting Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer, got underway in Superior Court Wednesday morning. 
Both sides presented opening statements to the jury, and the prosecution began laying out its case.  Inside Department 19, in San Francisco's Hall of Justice, prosecutors and defense attorneys for DePape made their opening statements. 

Prosecutors began by saying Paul Pelosi, husband of then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, awoke to a nightmare on October 28th, 2022, when David DePape entered his bedroom. They played the body-worn camera footage showing DePape wrestling the hammer away from Paul Pelosi before bringing it down on his head.

Defense attorney Randall Knox observed the trial and has also served as a prosecutor. He says that video is a critical piece of evidence. 

"It's a 21st-century case because here you have the crime recorded on video," said Knox. Thirty years ago, you'd have to have police officers describing what they saw. But, here it's clear, it's not disputed."
Depape's defense team didn't argue the facts in the case, instead saying he has a mental illness diagnosis, and got caught up in an elaborate conspiracy fantasy and felt he had to act. In essence, saying he didn't form the intent to commit the crimes for which he is now standing trial. 

"This is more like attempted murder requires a specific attempt to kill," said Knox. "At the worst it could be attempted voluntary manslaughter if he did not have the state of mind necessary to kill him with a level of malevolence."

Following opening statements, the prosecution began their case, first playing a recording of Paul Pelosi's call to 911 the night of the attack. Prosecutors then called the first officers to respond to the scene to describe what they saw that night, and breaking down the bodyworn camera of the attack.

The defense team established that moments before the attack DePape appeared to be calm and didn't immediately present as a threat. The trial is expected to resume tomorrow with medical experts taking the stand. At this point, it's moving at a brisk pace and could be in the jury's hands as early as next week.