Feds bring charges against man acquitted in Kate Steinle death

Feds bring charges against man acquitted in Kate Steinle death

Feds bring charges against man acquitted in Kate Steinle death

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was acquitted last week of state murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, was charged Tuesday with one count of a felon in possession of firearm and one count of an immigrant in possession of a firearm.

A jury rejected that charge last week and convicted Garcia Zarate only of being a felon in possession of a gun.

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.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said the jury's decision was "hard to receive". In an interview with CNN affiliate KGO, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (left) admitted that he shot Steinle but that the shooting was an accident.

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.

The case became a flashpoint in arguments on illegal immigration when it was learned that Zarate had been released from jail prior to the shooting under a "sanctuary city" policy, instead of being handed over to immigration authorities for deportation.

Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low
CBP said its employees were assaulted 847 times, up from 585 a year earlier and less than 600 each year going back to 2012. One reason for the decrease in deportations was that fewer people appeared to be trying to cross US borders illegally.

The day after the trial, federal authorities said they would seek to gain custody of Garcia Zarate and eventually deport him. He said he still believed Garcia Zarate should have been convicted of Steinle's murder.

Garcia-Zarate is not yet represented by counsel.

Prosecutors said Garcia Zarate deliberately fired into an unsuspecting crowd on the pier in July 2015, killing Steinle as she walked with her father.

That case drew national attention after then-candidate Donald Trump raised it as a justification for his proposed crackdown on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.

San Francisco is one of 200 sanctuary cities around the country, so the local police don't have to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The San Francisco sheriff's department also released him from jail several weeks before the shooting despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain him for deporation.

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

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