Illegal Alien Who Shot Kate Steinle Found Not Guilty Of Murder

Mexican Man Found Not Guilty of Murder Charges in 2015 Fatal Shooting of Kate Steinle

President Trump late Thursday tweeted that the not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial was "disgraceful", highlighting his apparent frustration at the resolution of a case he had cited during his presidential campaign as a justification for tougher immigration enforcement.

A ballistics investigation revealed that the bullet skipped off the pavement before hitting Steinle in the back as she stood with her father on a popular pier, lending credence to Zarate's claims that the shooting was an accident.

While the jurors didn't hear evidence regarding Zarate's immigration status, the shooting came roughly three months after a San Francisco jail released him despite federal immigration authorities' request he remain detained before his deportation. He has repeatedly warned about violent Latino gangs flourishing in sanctuary cities, and used the crime as part of his efforts to justify a crackdown on undocumented immigrants and win support for a wall he wants built along the US boarder with Mexico.

Zarate, a convicted felon who has been deported from the US five times, was accused of fatally shooting the 32-year-old Steinle in July 2015 while she was walking with her father and a friend in San Francisco.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who had previously been deported multiple times, was found not guilty of murder. The case resulted in national headlines previous year when Donald Trump used it in his presidential campaign to argue the country needs tougher immigration laws.

Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation at the time of Steinle's death. "But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle?" he asked.

After the verdict, a Public Defender Jeff Adachi also released a statement saying Zarate was "extremely relieved" by the decision and while Steinle's death "was a awful tragedy", it was used as "political fodder for the then candidate Donald Trump's anti-immigration agenda", Fox News reported.




After the verdict, Jim Steinle told the Chronicle he was "saddened and shocked".

Jim Steinle, left, father of Kate Steinle, walks toward the courtroom at the San Francisco Hall of Justice on October 23, 2017. The defense argued that the shooting was unintentional, that the defendant found the gun wrapped in a cloth under his seat at the pier and that it accidentally discharged.

A spokeswoman for San Francisco Superior Court could not immediately be reached for comment on the verdict.

Steinle's death became a rallying cry for Trump and others, who have invoked the case in decrying sanctuary cities and promoting the construction of the border wall.

In a response to the verdict, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement saying despite California's attempt at a murder conviction, Zarate was able to walk away with only one conviction because he was not turned over by San Francisco to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump tried to link Democrat Hillary Clinton to the controversy.

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