In July of 2015, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was walking on San Francisco pier with her father when a bullet ricocheted off the concrete floor and fatally struck her in the back.
Garcia Zarate was holding the gun after it “unexpectedly” went off and threw it in the bay, prosecutors said.
46-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a previous felon and undocumented immigrant who served nearly two years for felony re-entry into the U.S. from Mexico, was sentenced to three years in prison for the gun conviction while he awaits deportation.
Zarate was found not guilty in November 2017 for the 2015 fatal shooting of a woman on the San Francisco pier– but convicted for illegally possessing a weapon.
Now the lawyer for the undocumented immigrant has appealed the conviction, arguing that he had fired the gun by accident and “momentary possession” of a gun is not a crime.
Garcia Zarate was acquitted of murder, manslaughter and assault charges, and only convicted of illegally possessing a firearm. The case caused national outrage with President Donald Trump calling the verdict “a complete travesty of justice.”
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The San Francisco Chronicle report that Cliff Gardner who is Garcia Zarate’s lawyer, filed a motion on Friday with the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco, asking the court to overturn his client’s conviction and order a new trial because Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng did not instruct the jury that “momentary possession” of a gun is not a crime, and the jury had no choice but to convict Garcia Zarate.
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