Not guilty verdict reached in Kate Steinle murder trial

Not guilty verdict reached in Kate Steinle murder trial

Not guilty verdict reached in Kate Steinle murder trial

Garcia Zarate was found not guilty on the charges of first degree murder, second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

During the presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump cited the killing as a reason to toughen US immigration policies.

- Jurors on Thursday decided that an undocumented immigrant is not guilty of the murder of a woman on a San Francisco pier two years ago.

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

The gun was stolen from the SUV of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger that was parked in San Francisco.

"Today is vindication for the rights of immigrants", defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said.

President Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign that Steinle's death was another reason the United States needed to build a wall on its southern border and tighten its immigration policies.

The jury of six men and six women started deliberations last Tuesday and considered dueling arguments that Garcia Zarate was either a hapless, homeless man who killed Steinle in a freak accident or a calculated murderer intent on playing a sick game.

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

Kathryn Steinle, 33, died in her father's arms when she was shot on July 1, 2015, while they and a family friend were strolling along Pier 14 in the city's tourist-friendly Embarcadero district.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back in 2015. The timing and specifics of Steinle's tragic death catapulted the case into the national spotlight as a cause célèbre for then-candidate Donald Trump, who seized upon the death of "beautiful Kate", as he referred to her on the stump.

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. A local ordinance prohibits employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement with immigration investigations or arrests "unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant". San Francisco still won't honor a federal detainer request unless the detainee has committed a violent or serious felony in the past seven years. She was a 32-year-old medical equipment saleswoman.

"My opponent wants Sanctuary Cities".

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he hopes local officials will "consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens" by not cooperating with federal immigration officials.

He had been deported five times before.

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