'A disgraceful verdict': Trump leads outrage after five-time deported illegal immigrant at center of 'sanctuary city' debate is found NOT GUILTY of murdering woman, 32, on San Francisco pier (18 Pics)

 A jury on Thursday found a Mexican man not guilty of murder in the killing of a woman on a San Francisco pier that set off a national immigration debate two years ago.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Garcia Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Kate Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father on the pier. Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle but said it was an accident.
A prosecutor said in her closing arguments Nov. 20 that Zarate was "playing his own secret version of Russian roulette" when he shot and killed Steinle in July 2015. San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia derided as implausible the defense argument that he accidentally shot a weapon he didn't know was a firearm.
On Thursday, Steinle's parents gave what they called their last interview to local newspaper San Francisco Chronicle.
"We're just shocked -- saddened and shocked ... that's about it," Steinle's father Jim said of the verdict. "There's no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served."
Steinle's brother Brad said he was "not surprised," considering the "epic failure" that led Garcia Zarate to be released on the streets, and end up with a loaded handgun on the pier that day.
Kate Steinle
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was charged with second-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Though he admitted to shooting the 32-year-old Kate Steinle in the back, he said the gun went off accidentally

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement Thursday night that mentioned Garcia Zarate wouldn't have been on San Francisco streets had the city honored an ICE detainer.

"When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public's safety at risk. San Francisco's decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle," the statement read. "While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle's death -- a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer -- the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm."
The case took on political overtones because Garcia Zarate is a Mexican citizen who had been deported five times and served federal prison time for illegally re-entering the United States

The statement ended with Sessions saying: "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers."
The shooting happened during the presidential campaign and touched off a fierce debate over the country's immigration policies. San Francisco's "sanctuary city" law bars local officials from cooperating with federal attempts to deport those in the country illegally, and the city had released Garcia Zarate from custody despite a federal detention request.

None of that, however, has been at issue during the month-long trial. The judge barred mention of the politics of immigration and gun control during the proceedings. 
President Donald Trump joined a group of politicians and right-wing commentators outraged after the Mexican illegal immigrant who admitted to shooting Kate Steinle in the back while she was walking with her father on a San Francisco pier was found not guilty of second-degree murder

'What a disgrace,' the president's oldest son tweeted late Thursday night after attending the White House tree lighting ceremony

Don Jr also blamed the verdict on democrats. Responding to a question Charlie Kirk posed in a tweet about how 'an illegal alien can kill someone and walk away,' Don Jr responded 'Liberals... and the general lack of common sense so prevalent amongst them'

The jury was handed the case Nov. 21 after the defense wrapped up closing arguments. The jury recessed the following day for the Thanksgiving holiday and returned to deliberations Monday.
Garcia Zarate said he found the stolen gun wrapped in a shirt under a chair on a pedestrian pier and that the weapon accidentally fired when he picked it up. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway before it struck Steinle.
His attorneys say the ricochet showed the shooting was an accident. Much of the testimony during the trial has focused on ballistics experts.
Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez said in his closing remarks that he knows it's difficult to believe Garcia Zarate found an object that turned out to be a weapon that fired when he picked it up.
But he told jurors that Garcia Zarate had no motivation to kill Steinle and as awful as her death was, "nothing you do is going to fix that."

He urged jurors to pick apart the facts of the case, instead of swallowing a ludicrous narrative by the prosecution that relied on circumstantial evidence.
Steinle, who is pictured with her boyfriend, was shot on a San Francisco pier on July 1, 2015 while she was spending the afternoon with her father. Her family told the San Francisco Chronicle after the verdict announcement they are 'saddened and shocked.'

The prosecutor referred to Steinle as a "vibrant life" taken too soon but otherwise did not dwell on the victim in a closing argument that lasted about an hour.
Instead, she painted a picture of a man who hid a firearm in his baggy clothes, went to a pier filled with tourists and whirled about on a stool for more than 20 minutes before shooting it at Steinle's back.

"He knew exactly what he was doing," Garcia said.
After the decision was announced Public Defender Matt Gonzalez came out to say it he thinks it was the right decision because Garcia Zarate deserves the right to a jury. 'This jury's verdict should be respected,' Gonzalez said. He is pictured after the verdict was announced 

Public Defender Jeff Adachi (pictured) also released a statement to say Zarate is 'extremely relieved' by the verdict

Jim Steinle (center) and Liz Sullivan (right), the parents of Kate Steinle, walk to the courtroom for closing arguments on November 20. Steinle died in her father's arms 

'Horrifying verdict on Steinle murderer. Politics trumps evidence in California once again,' conservative commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said called the verdict 'outrageous' and said the 'illegal alien' was 'given more rights, grace and favor than the devastated Steinle family'

And Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell chimed in with his disappointment in the outcome

During the presidential race, then-candidate Donald Trump cited the killing as a reason to toughen US immigration policies. Pictured is a memorial for Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco, where she died 

During the trial defense attorney Matt Gonzalez told jurors that prosecutors were pushing a 'wild narrative of a desire to hurt someone he does not know'

A judge ruled last week that the jury of six men and six women could consider a more serious charge of first-degree murder in addition to a second-degree murder charge.
Before the shooting, Garcia Zarate had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and was transferred in March 2015 to San Francisco's jail to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana. 
The sheriff's department released him a few days later after the district attorney dropped the marijuana charge, despite a U.S. request to detain him for deportation.
President Donald Trump said during the campaign that Steinle's death was another reason the United States needed to build a wall on its southern border and tighten its immigration policies. Since taking office, Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from places with similar sanctuary city laws.

Defense attorneys have told jurors that Garcia Zarate lived on the streets of San Francisco after being released from jail, scraping together a living by collecting recyclables and scavenging for food.

'A disgraceful verdict': Trump leads outrage after five-time deported illegal immigrant at center of 'sanctuary city' debate is found NOT GUILTY of murdering woman, 32, on San Francisco pier (18 Pics) 'A disgraceful verdict': Trump leads outrage after five-time deported illegal immigrant at center of 'sanctuary city' debate is found NOT GUILTY of murdering woman, 32, on San Francisco pier (18 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on November 30, 2017 Rating: 5

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