Kate Steinle suspect found not guilty, acquitted of murder and manslaughter

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — In a surprising verdict, the jury of six men and six women deliberated and came back with a not guilty verdict, acquitting defendant Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. He was facing second degree murder charges for killing 32-year-old Pleasanton resident Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015, at Pier 14 in San Francisco.

The jury found Garcia Zarate guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon.

While Garcia Zarate can technically walk out of the courtroom, it’s expected he will be taken into custody by Immigration officials and eventually deported back to his native Mexico.

The case gained notoriety because Garcia Zarate is an undocumented immigrant who had been deported several times and had a number of felony convictions.

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Garcia Zarate, who was homeless at the time, claimed he found the gun wrapped in a piece of cloth under a swivel chair at the pier. He says he picked it up, and it accidentally fired, hitting Steinle in the back. The bullet, the defense claimed, ricocheted and then traveled 78 feet before striking Steinle.

The prosecution has always maintained that Garcia Zarate had the gun all along, aimed it at Steinle and fired. But, because, he had little experience with guns, the bullet ricocheted first, a common mistake made by amateurs.

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Source: ABC7 News | November 30, 2017 | Lyanne Melendez
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