Man acquitted of Kate Steinle’s death gets time served for gun charges

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate faces arraignment next week in federal court. File Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Police Department

Jan. 6 (UPI) — A San Francisco judge on Friday sentenced a homeless undocumented immigrant to time served on gun charges several weeks after his acquittal in the death of Kate Steinle.

Judge Samuel Feng sentenced Jose Ines Garcia Zarate to three years in prison, but because he received credit for time served, he will not spend further time in jail. He was convicted for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and possessing a firearm and ammunition as an illegal alien.

The charges stem from the shooting death of Steinle. Prosecutors said Garcia Zarate, who was set to be deported for a sixth time when the shooting occurred, shot Steinle in the back as she and her father walked down Pier 14 of the San Francisco Bay on July 1, 2015. The defense said Garcia Zarate found the gun on the ground and accidentally fired it, causing the bullet to ricochet off the ground and strike Steinle.

He was acquitted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in November, but found guilty of the firearms charges.

Garcia Zarate’s sentencing opens the way for him to face two federal firearm charges filed in the week after his murder acquittal. Authorities are expected to hand him over to federal authorities so he can be arraigned in federal court in Oakland next week. There he faces charges of being a convicted felon and illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm.


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