Sci-tech

California court overturns sole conviction in Kate Steinle death

California court overturns sole conviction in Kate Steinle death”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a California Appeals court has overturned the gun conviction against the illegal immigrant who killed the young American woman, Kate Steinle, in 2015.

Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate, who was in the USA illegally and had been deported to his native Mexico five times, was acquitted in November 2017 of first- and second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a semi-automatic weapon. The appeals court overturned a single conviction on a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Prosecutors argued that the jury instruction lapse was harmless because Garcia-Zarate admitted firing the gun and experts said he couldn't do so without pulling the trigger.

Instead, it looks like justice for Steinle will go unanswered.

"It is undisputed that defendant was holding the gun when it fired".

Prosecutors claimed Garcia-Zarate aimed at Steinle but his ineptitude caused the bullet to ricochete, yet he still hit his target. The bullet ricocheted off of the ground and struck Steinle in the back as she was walking, 78 feet away, with her father.

Three months before the killing, Garcia-Zarate was released from custody after a drug case against him was dropped. When he got out, he was homeless.

The immigrant, Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate, who had been deported five times prior to the shooting, was acquitted on the charge of murdering Kate Steinle.

Earlier this year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Steinle's parents against San Francisco.

Garcia-Zarate is in custody and facing federal gun charges. He'll stand trial in January. "Then the prosecution has the prerogative of going again", Serra said.

The killing touched off an immigration debate and was used repeatedly by President Trump as a warning about so-called "sanctuary cities".

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor, center, for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on July 7, 2015.

"This is yet another disgusting injustice perpetrated by a broken criminal justice system that is more intent on re-harming the victims of crime and their families than holding violent offenders accountable", a statement from the police association read. "It's going to be a big potential decision on what they're going to do". "This defies common sense, public safety, & human decency". The state attorney general's office, which argued the case on appeal, also said on August 30 it was reviewing the case.



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