Undocumented immigrant acquitted in Kate Steinle murder trial

Kathryn Steinle, San Francisco, Sanctuary

A San Fransisco jury has acquitted an undocumented immigrant who was charged with the murder of Kate Steinle.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted of the murder charge following the 2015 shooting, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle.

Steinle was fatally wounded while walking the San Francisco waterfront in 2015 by Garcia Zarate, who had been deported to Mexico on five previous occasions. She was 32 years old. {mosads}

Garcia Zarate, 45, was released from a San Francisco jail before Steinle’s death, despite a federal request that he be kept in the jail until his sixth deportation.


According to the Chronicle, the San Francisco Superior Court jury found Garcia Zarate not guilty of assault with a firearm, and convicted him of being a felon in possession of a gun. Garcia Zarate will be sentenced at a future date, which has not yet been set.

He was charged with murder. The jury was given the option of convicting Garcia Zarate of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter.

Steinle’s death has been widely politicized, with President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Republicans invoking her case as an example of the need to beef up border security and crack down on immigration.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez, who spoke after the verdict was read Thursday, said the jury heard the evidence in the case and their verdict “should be respected.”

“For those who might criticize this verdict — there are a number of people who have commented on this case in the last couple of years; the Attorney General of the United States and the President and Vice President of the United States,” Gonzalez said, according to a local CBS affiliate.

“Let me just remind them: they are themselves under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington D.C. and they may soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, so I ask that they reflect on that before they comment or disparage the results of this case.”

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. 

The convention featured speeches from parents whose children were killed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, and the White House has tried to keep a focus on the issue since then.

Three of first lady Melania Trump’s guests at the president’s address to Congress in February were people who had family members killed by undocumented immigrants. 

During his address to Congress, Trump announced a new Homeland Security office called Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement to assist victims of crimes committed by immigrants in the country illegally. 

The House passed a bill known as “Kate’s Law” in June, which increases maximum penalties for undocumented immigrants who illegally enter the country multiple times after they have been deported.

Updated 8:53 p.m.

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