Trump Calls Acquittal in Sanctuary City Murder `Disgraceful'

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

A jury on Thursday found a Mexican man not guilty in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier that touched off a national immigration debate two years ago, rejecting possible charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.

Steinle was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant while she was walking on a San Francisco pier with her father in July 2015. And probably the strongest one for the defense that contributed most to the jury's verdict in this case is the fact that it was a ricochet shot that killed Kathryn Steinle. The incident sparked a nationwide debate over sanctuary cities and later became a central theme of Donald Trump's campaign for president. And we do have a new sheriff in place right now who handles the custody of defendants and what, if anything, about their immigration status might be communicated to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and was transferred in March 2015 to San Francisco's jail to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana. "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers".

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who had previously been deported multiple times, was found not guilty of murder.

A photo of murder victim Kate Steinle, right, is placed on an easel as her father Jim Steinle (second from left) prepares to testify about her murder during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on US immigration enforcement policies, on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 21, 2015.

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The jury seemed to have been convinced by defense arguments that Garcia-Zarate had no direct intention of firing the.40-caliber Sig Sauer pistol that he found that day on the waterfront, four days after it had been stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger's auto nearby.

Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation at the time of Steinle's death. "San Francisco's decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle. He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle", she said.

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 disgusting tragedy", it was used as "political fodder for the then candidate Donald Trump's anti-immigration agenda", Fox News reported. "It's disconcerting", Brad Steinle told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others", defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict.

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez said Garcia Zarate found the gun at the pier. "I have met with numerous great parents who lost their children to sanctuary cities and open borders".

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