New charges for man acquitted of pier shooting

Man Acquitted In Kate Steinle Killing Faces Federal Gun And Immigration Charges

Exonerated Mexican national whose murder case sparked fierce national debate charged with new gun and immigration felonies

Kate Steinle was gunned down by an illegal alien who told authorities he specifically went to San Francisco because it was a sanctuary city.

Last week, a San Francisco jury acquitted Zarate of murder and manslaughter in the 2015 shooting death of Steinle.

"A federal grand jury indicted Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate today for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally-present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition", the Department of Justice announced.

The federal indictment comes five days after a state jury found Garcia-Zarate not guilty of murder in the shooting death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier on July 1, 2015.

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In this July 7, 2015 file photo, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into a courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor.

The charges, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possessing a firearm and ammunition as an illegal alien, could bring Zarate a 10-year prison sentence.

Defense lawyers for Garcia Zarate said Monday they will appeal the state charge for which he was convicted.

Garcia-Zarate is not yet represented by counsel. They believe the gun possession conviction seemed at odds with the acquittals, given that those verdicts aligned with the defense contention that Garcia Zarate found the gun by happenstance at the pier where the shooting occurred.

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30 rejected charges of first- and second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a semiautomatic pistol. He said it fired accidentally when he picked it up.

President Trump slammed the jury decision in the case last week, writing in a tweet, "No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with illegal Immigration".

Steinle's shooting touched off a national political debate about Sanctuary City policies, which limit cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities. The San Francisco sheriff's department also released him from jail several weeks before the shooting despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain him for deporation.

Trump called the verdict "disgraceful", while Sessions said San Francisco's status as a sanctuary city was largely to blame for what happened.

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