Kate Steinle case gunman indicted on federal weapons charges

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

Less than a week after his murder acquittal, the undocumented immigrant accused of killing a woman on a San Francisco pier was indicted on federal weapons charges.

Last week a San Francisco jury found Garcia Zarate, 45, not guilty of murdering the 32-year-old Kate Steinle as she was walking along a city pier two years ago.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted him on Tuesday on one count each of felon in possession of a firearm and of "being an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States" in possession of a gun and ammunition, according to the indictment.

Federal officials have charged Jose Inez Garcia Zarate with immigration and gun possession violations, one week after the illegal alien was acquitted in the murder of Kate Steinle.

Federal officials already have a criminal warrant signed by a judge in 2015 for Garcia Zarate, and he will be released to the U.S. Marshal once he is eligible to be released following the conclusion of his state case, according to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.

Garcia Zarate's defense attorneys say they will appeal that conviction which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

Defense attorneys for Garcia Zarate argued the gun, which had been stolen from the auto of a Bureau of Land Management ranger, was accidentally fired by Garcia Zarate.

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The Getty Center and the nearby Skirball Center are both on the west side of the freeway, and did not appear to be threatened. The Southbound lanes of the 405 Freeway are now open through the Sepulveda pass, but the Northbound lanes are closed.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five times before the 2015 shooting.

Garcia Zarate faced a charge of second-degree murder, but jurors were allowed to consider first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter convictions. He said it fired accidentally when he picked it up.

Gascon also called President Trump a "madman" for a series of tweets deriding the verdict.

Steinle's shooting touched off a national political debate about Sanctuary City policies, which limit cooperation between local law enforcement and immigration authorities. "This tragedy could have been prevented if San Francisco had turned the alien over to ICE, as we requested, instead of releasing him back onto the streets".

In San Francisco, reaction to the not-guilty verdict persists.

However critics have argued they encourage crime, and the current administration has made several attempts to punish Sanctuary City jurisdictions by withholding federal grant funds.

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