Man Acquitted In Kate Steinle Killing Faces Federal Gun And Immigration Charges

07 December, 2017, 03:00 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Man Acquitted In Kate Steinle Killing Faces Federal Gun And Immigration Charges

In the state's murder and manslaughter case against Zarate, his defense lawyers said he found the weapon and it accidently discharged, shooting Steinle as he held it.

"Those who are using this for political benefits, to attack San Francisco and San Francisco values, I only say that this is an incredible city".

The federal indictment comes five days after a state jury found Garcia-Zarate not guilty of murder in the shooting death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier on July 1, 2015.

"A federal grand jury indicted Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate today for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally-present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition", the Department of Justice announced.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 14 on the firearms possession conviction, and Garcia Zarate is expected to be sentenced to either 16 months in prison, two years or three years, depending on the ruling of Judge James Feng.

Garcia Zarate, a Mexican citizen who has previous convictions for nonviolent drug charges and returning to the country after deportation, had been released from San Francisco jail a few months before the shooting without notification to federal authorities. Garcia Zarate is to be sentenced in state court December 14. He said he still believed Garcia Zarate should have been convicted of Steinle's murder. He said it fired accidentally when he picked it up.

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Jurors could also have convicted Garcia Zarate of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter but chose not to.

President Donald Trump frequently brought up the case previous year during his presidential campaign to criticize efforts in the U.S.to combat illegal immigration.

Steinle's shooting touched off a national political debate about Sanctuary City policies, which limit cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities. Zarate told authorities that he specifically went to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city.

President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from cities with similar policies.

Gascón called out Trump, saying that "we shouldn't allow a madman that is tweeting dictate everything we do" when talking about the influence politics has had on the Steinle trial.

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