Undocumented immigrant acquitted of Kathryn Steinle's murder

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was on trial for the murder of Kate Steinle after she was shot on a pier in San Francisco in 2015
Mexican Man Found Not Guilty of Murder Charges in 2015 Fatal Shooting of Kate Steinle
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01 December, 2017

Trump frequently highlighted Steinle's case on the campaign trail, including in his speech at the Republican National Convention last summer when he accepted the party's presidential nomination. Before the killing, he had been released from a San Francisco jail after a minor drug charge was dismissed. Again, I'm not suggesting that necessarily makes the murder, I just don't understand how his handling of the weapon does not make him culpable for her death even if you assume the shooting itself was an accident.

The verdict was announced on Thursday, almost a week after the jury began deliberating. Steinle was killed while posing for pictures with her father on a San Francisco pier. The weapon Steinle was killed with on July 1, 2015 turned out to be a.40-caliber Sig Sauer handgun, which had been stolen from the auto of a Bureau of Land Management agent. Since taking office, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from places with similar sanctuary city laws. Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the USA five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis.

The case spotlighted San Francisco's "sanctuary city" policy, which limits local officials from cooperating with US immigration authorities.

The semi-automatic handgun used to kill Steinle was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week before the shooting.

Defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said Thursday the death of Kate Steinle was an "incomprehensible tragedy", but the ruling was a vindication for immigrants.

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Instead, she painted a picture of a man who hid a firearm in his baggy clothes, went to a pier filled with tourists and whirled about on a stool for more than 20 minutes before shooting it at Steinle's back.

The defendant had been deported five times.He was scheduled for a sixth deportation in 2015 while he was in federal custody for felony reentry. A local ordinance prohibits employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement with immigration investigations or arrests "unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant".

Garcia Zarate, who also used the name Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, had been deported five times before the deadly encounter. The timing and specifics of Steinle's tragic death catapulted the case into the national spotlight as a cause célèbre for then-candidate Donald Trump, who seized upon the death of "beautiful Kate", as he referred to her on the stump.

"My opponent wants Sanctuary Cities". He had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and was transferred in March 2015 to San Francisco's jail to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana.


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