Undocumented immigrant acquitted in shooting that sparked sanctuary-city debate

Kate Steinle left and Jose Ines Garcia Zarate CBS SAN FRANCISCO

An illegal immigrant accused of shooting Kate Steinle to death on pier in the sanctuary city of San Francisco is found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.

The jury of six men and six women - including three immigrants - found Garcia Zarate not guilty of homicide. Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the USA five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis.

A jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty in the killing of Kate Steinle, who was strolling with her father on a crowded San Francisco pier when she was shot in 2015.

The bullet's trajectory, which ricocheted off the pier's surface before hitting Steinle in the lower back, appears to support the claim that Garcia Zarate was not pointing the gun at her directly when it was sacked.

After he was elected president, Trump signed an executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with USA immigration authorities, a policy that a federal judge in San Francisco permanently blocked Monday. The defense also offered expert witnesses who testified that the bullet ricocheted off of the ground and traveled about 78 feet before striking Steinle.

In this July 17, 2015 photo, flowers and a portrait of Kate Steinle remain at a memorial site on Pier 14 in San Francisco.

Mexican Man Found Not Guilty of Murder Charges in 2015 Fatal Shooting of Kate Steinle
Undocumented immigrant acquitted of Kathryn Steinle's murder

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.

Yet in aftermath of his sister's death, Brad Steinle spoke out against then-candidate Trump for "sensationalizing" her death.

The semi-automatic handgun used to kill Steinle was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week before the shooting. The city has been plagued by an epidemic of auto burglaries in recent years. Under local sanctuary city rules, local law enforcement won't hold a person beyond the term of their incarceration.

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. He had just completed a federal prison sentence for re-entering the country after deportation when he was transferred to San Francisco by federal authorities based on a warrant for a marijuana charge. 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 was homeless at the time of the shooting and had multiple felony convictions on his record as well as five prior deportations to Mexico.

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