Man accused of attacking Nancy Pelosi’s husband held without bail

File: Nancy Pelosi with husband Paul  (Getty Images)
File: Nancy Pelosi with husband Paul (Getty Images)

The man accused of a hammer attack on the US House Speaker’s husband has pleaded not guilty as a judge ordered he be held without bail.

David DePape, 42, is accused of breaking into Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home early Friday, and attacking her husband Paul Pelosi, 82, with a hammer.

Officials have alleged he wanted to kidnap Ms Pelosi.

DePape’s lawyer Adam Lipson entered a not guilty plea on his behalf during the brief hearing in Superior Court in San Francisco in the accused’s first public appearance since the incident.

Wearing orange jail clothing, DePape only spoke to tell Judge Diane Northway how to pronounce his last name. The 42-year-old defendant is scheduled to return to court Friday.

After the hearing, Mr Lipson said he would provide the defendant with a “vigorous defence."

David Wayne DePape charged with breaking into U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home (REUTERS)
David Wayne DePape charged with breaking into U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco home (REUTERS)

"We’re going to be doing a comprehensive investigation of what happened. We’re going to be looking into Mr. DePape’s mental state, and I’m not going to talk any further about that until I have more information," he said.

He added not being granted bail in state court was irrelevant because DePape also has been placed on a federal hold in the case.

The attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi has rocked US politics just days before the hotly contested midterm elections.

DePape faces state charges of attempted murder, burglary and elder abuse. He also faces federal charges including attempted kidnapping of a US official.

US Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said Tuesday there was “still a lot of work to do” to protect elected officials from threats.

“We believe today’s political climate calls for more resources to provide additional layers of physical security for members of Congress," he said

Chief Manger said the attack on Pelosi’s husband was "an alarming reminder of the dangerous threats elected officials and public figures face during today’s contentious political climate."

Speaker Pelosi was in Washington at the time of the incident. Mr Pelosi was hospitalised and underwent surgery for a skull fracture and other injuries.