Illegal immigrant indicted on federal charges after San Francisco murder acquittal

08 December, 2017, 02:08 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Matt Gonzalez and press

Federal officials filed a new set of immigration and gun charges Friday against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the illegal immigrant found not guilty last week in the murder of Kate Steinle.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced an indictment of Garcia Zarate Tuesday evening, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and being an immigrant in the country illegally in possession of a firearm and ammunition. A San Francisco jury found him not guilty of murder on Thursday but he was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in a federal prison, according to the Department of Justice. He has been in jail since the day of the shooting.

The allegations mirror the lower charge Garcia Zarate was convicted of in state court. The Mexican national, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, will face new immigration and gun charges.

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Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said in her opening statements in October that Garcia Zarate "meant to shoot" at people, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Zarate was acquitted last week in Steinle's death. The jury apparently agreed with the defense which argued that a single shot killed Steinle accidentally after it ricocheted off of the ground before striking her in the back.

Garcia Zarate was accused of gunning down 32-year-old Steinle, a Pleasanton native, on Pier 14 in San Francisco's Embarcadero neighborhood.

The case also caught the attention of presidential candidate Donald Trump past year, who used it to highlight crime committed by undocumented immigrants during his campaign.

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Zarate is an undocumented immigrant and was deported five times ahead of the 2015 shooting.

President Trump has demanded funding for the border wall, but Congress has yet to agree to provide beyond the $20 million allotted for prototypes and related infrastructure.

Gascón called out Trump, saying that "we shouldn't allow a madman that is tweeting dictate everything we do" when talking about the influence politics has had on the Steinle trial.

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