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Illegal immigrant acquitted of Kate Steinle’s death

Randy Mancini 4 Jun 7
FILE - 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 in San Francisco, July 7, 2015. A California federal judge on Monday, June 6, 2022, sentenced the Mexican national who shot a woman along a San Francisco pier to the seven years he's already spent in jail. The sentence brings to a legal close a tragedy that ignited a national firestorm over immigration, crime and sanctuary cities such as San Francisco. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, Pool, File)

FILE – 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 in San Francisco, July 7, 2015. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, Pool, File)

A federal judge sentenced the illegal immigrant acquitted in the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle to time already served for federal firearms charges.

Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate was sentenced Monday to the seven years he already spent in jail after he pleaded guilty to being an illegal felon in possession of a firearm. Garcia-Zarate was acquitted of homicide charges in 2017.

He claimed he found a gun wrapped in a t-shirt and it accidentally fired when he picked it up, fatally striking Steinle on a San Francisco pier.

Garcia-Zarate had been deported five times and was in the process of being removed from the US before the incident.

“If you return to this country again and you are back in front of me, I will not spare you,” said Judge Chabria. “Let this be your last warning, do not return to this country.” 

He will now be transported to Texas to face charges for failing to report his location to immigration officials in a separate case.

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