Cruz 'angry' at not guilty verdict in Kate Steinle case: 'Justice must be served'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzProtesters confront Cruz at airport over Kavanaugh vote O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate Election Countdown: O'Rourke goes on the attack | Takeaways from fiery second Texas Senate debate | Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse victims | Trump Jr. to rally for Manchin challenger | Rick Scott leaves trail to deal with hurricane damage MORE (R-Texas) said Thursday he is "angry" over the acquittal of an undocumented immigrant charged in the 2015 murder of 32-year-old Kate Steinle, saying "justice must be served."

"I am disappointed and angry at the not guilty verdict for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal alien who had several felony convictions & was deported from the US five times. Justice must be served for Kate Steinle," Cruz tweeted.

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The San Francisco Superior Court acquitted Zarate on charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter on Thursday, with the jury finding him guilty of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Steinle was fatally wounded in 2015 when she was walking around the city's waterfront. The high-profile case was at the center of debate over illegal immigration and forced San Francisco officials to defend their sanctuary city policies on refusing to help federal authorities enforce immigration laws

President Trump and other Republicans such as Cruz invoked Steinle's death in pushing for more stringent enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Zarate, who had been deported from the U.S. five times previously, was released from prison months before the deadly encounter on the pier in San Francisco.

He was released from custody after the district attorney dropped a marijuana charge against him, despite federal authorities wanting to detain him for another deportation.