Kate Steinle’s accused killer found not guilty of murder

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle in San Francisco on July 1, 2015, was found not guilty of all charges, except for felony possession of a firearm, in a verdict that shocked legal analysts and the general public alike on Thursday night.

The case became the center of a larger conversation about immigration and “sanctuary city” policies in the U.S., even spawning legislative proposals like Kate’s Law, which would increase prison sentences for immigrants caught repeatedly entering the U.S. illegally.

Garcia Zarate had been deported from the U.S. five times prior to Steinle’s 2015 death.

The 45-year-old faced a second-degree murder charge, but jurors were also able to consider convicting on first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

The gun Garcia Zarate used to kill Steinle belonged to a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger. It was stolen from his parked SUV about a week earlier.

At issue was whether or not he intended to kill the 32-year-old Steinle or whether the gun discharged accidentally, as the bullet ricocheted on the pier’s walkway before it struck Steinle, killing her, as she died in her father’s arms, a set of the facts the defense did not dispute.

Prosecutors argued Garcia Zarate was “playing his own secret version of Russian roulette” and intentionally fired into an unsuspecting crowd on San Francisco’s Pier 14.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez told jurors that Garcia Zarate found the gun at the pier and when Garcia Zarate unwrapped it, the Sig Sauer .40-caliber handgun accidentally discharged.

The verdict will likely only fuel a larger national discussion about the risk of sanctuary city policies, an issue President Trump repeatedly mentioned on the campaign trail and has continued to focus on since taking office.

Garcia Zarate was released from a San Francisco jail just three months before the tragedy after prosecutors dropped a marijuana charge, despite a request by federal authorities to detain him for another deportation.

Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to crack down on such jurisdictions as part of the administration’s immigration agenda.

“The president has rightly said, ‘disregard for law must end,’” the attorney general said earlier this year. “In his executive order, he stated that it is the policy of the executive branch to ensure that states and cities comply with all federal laws, including immigration law.”

Sanctuary cities do not comply with federal authorities in holding criminal illegal aliens on ICE detainers, an effort critics say allows illegals to avoid deportation and puts public safety at risk.

Sessions’ vow to tie a city’s sanctuary status to its federal funding is a move that could affect over $4 billion in grants that are set to be dispersed by the Department of Justice in the coming years.

However, it’s a move that faces significant legal hurdles, as a federal judge recently blocked the order in a lawsuit from San Francisco and Santa Clara counties.


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  1. Marty
    Marty 1 December, 2017, 10:43

    While I do not support the verdict of murder in this case I do not understand why he did not get convicted of at least manslaughter. This was a politically based verdict much like the Simpson verdict many many years ago. Look what happened to him, he ended up in jail again. How long before this man comes back and continues his history of illegal and at time violent activities. A bad decision that will only anger the majority of people to take a stronger stance on border security and increased vetting of people wanting to immigrate.

    Reply this comment
  2. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 1 December, 2017, 16:53

    Hold the city and its mayor and city council liable for any crimes commited by illegal aliens the same with all sanctary cities

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 1 December, 2017, 22:54

    lets just end this thread…..

    Reply this comment
  4. LB11
    LB11 2 December, 2017, 02:22

    This is a travesty that American citizens are shunned by these corrupt criminal leaders such as Brown, Pelosi, Feinstein, Harris and the rest of the thugs in Sacramento.

    Reply this comment
  5. Jimson Weed
    Jimson Weed 2 December, 2017, 07:03

    The good proggy people of San Fran-lib-o just LOVE it when white middle class taxpaying oppressors are gunned down in broad daylight by third world human excrement. This verdict guarantees a big beautiful wall on the southern border, because walls actually do work. No more safety valve to the north for the corrupt lilly-white racist mexican ruling class.

    Reply this comment
  6. Joe
    Joe 4 December, 2017, 14:39

    Hey, it’s A OK if you’re an illegal alien felon and you enter this country illegally for the hundredth time and you murder white people. See, when an illegal felon alien murders someone it’s just an accident, don’t ya know???

    And that’s just the way our rulers want it. Why do you think they not only turn a blind eye but encourage illegals to come into this country?

    Your rulers want these illegals here because they want to destroy western culture.

    Why is that so hard to see? A blind man can see this a mile away.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted Steele, God of CW
    Ted Steele, God of CW 5 December, 2017, 09:11

    Hey Dopey Posters—

    If you didn’t sit through the evidence in trial, you don’t know squat about this case. Go ahead and pour your bad self a big steaming cup of shut up.

    Reply this comment
  8. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 16 December, 2017, 22:49

    The real perpetrator of this crime was whoever left the gun where the immigrant could randomly come across it–he picked it up; it fired, hit the concrete, and ricocheted over 70 feet into the back of the poor victim. I was not on the jury and could determine that this was not a pre-meditated murder before the trial even started!

    Reply this comment
  9. Ex Democrat
    Ex Democrat 1 February, 2018, 17:50

    Glad to see my taxes at work. We probably will now have to compensate him for jail time served. Maybe he ca get a job working for Brown or Pelosi, he definitely has all the needed qualifications.

    Reply this comment

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