Jurors Find Kate Steinle's Alleged Killer Not Guilty of Murder
04:37, Dec 1, 2017
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As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump cited the Steinle killing as a justification for his intended crackdown on immigration.
Despite the national political implications, the San Francisco jury was charged with a more discreet task of criminal culpability for Steinle's death.
Trump seized on the Garcia Zarate case during the campaign as proof that the US needs his much-hyped - and still un-built - border wall.
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.
"Donald Trump talks about Kate Steinle like he knows her". Evans was the only witness called to the stand who said that Garcia Zarate aimed the gun in her direction and actively pulled the trigger.
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.
Jurors did find Garcia Zarate guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Garcia Zarate was found not guilty on the charges of first degree murder, second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
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San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said during the trial that she didn't know why Garcia Zarate fired the weapon, but he created a risk of death by bringing the firearm to the pier and twirling around on a chair for at least 20 minutes before he fired.
The jury reached the verdict Thursday in Kate Steinle's death.
Zarate, of Mexico, had been deported several times and has previous convictions for re-entry after deportation.
The Bureau of Land Management previously said that the gun belonged to one of its enforcement rangers and was stolen from a federal agent's auto.
Zarate, 45, was released from the San Francisco jail before the date of Steinle's death, despite a federal request that he be kept in the jail until his sixth deportation. 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.
Trump signed an executive order to withhold funding from sanctuary cities, but a federal judge recently blocked it in a lawsuit from two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara. She was a 32-year-old medical equipment saleswoman. Under local sanctuary city rules, local law enforcement won't hold a person beyond the term of their incarceration. Freya Horne, chief legal counsel to the county sheriff who runs the jail, told CNN that he was let go because there was no legal cause to detain the suspect.
He had been deported from the United States five times prior to Steinle's death.
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