Kate Steinle's family is spending their first Christmas without her. But now they have yet another burden to bear.

Steinle was simply walking and talking with her father along a pier in San Francisco last summer when a bullet cut her down.

In September, a bench in Steinle's memory was placed on Pier 14 where the murder happened:

Image Credit: Screenshot/NBC Bay Area
Screenshot/NBC Bay Area

Her parents have testified before Congress to call attention to this case:

Their ordeal has been beyond painful. But now comes another insult. The accused killer's lawyers are asking for the murder charges against him to be dropped.

Fox News reports accused killer Francisco Lopez-Sanchez's attorney will claim in court that Steinle was killed by accident.

NBC News reports that Sanchez's public defender says the shots fired from the stolen gun ricocheted, so the accused killer did not intend for the bullet to hit the 32-year-old woman:

“We know it was a ricochet. That has been proven. There is no dispute about that.”

NBC Bay Area reports that the ricochet is a key finding:

“In August, James Norris, a forensic science consultant and former director of the San Francisco Police Department's forensic services division, testified that the gun Lopez-Sanchez fired was 'clearly aimed at the ground,' not at Steinle, who was fatally struck after the bullet ricocheted off the cement pier.”

In a jailhouse interview, Sanchez admitted killing Steinle.

The New York Daily News reports that the gun went off three times.

Francisco Sanchez (R) enters court for an arraignment with San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi (L) on July 7, 2015 in San Francisco, California. — Image Credit: Michael Macor-Pool/Getty Images
Michael Macor/Getty Images

The accused killer was in the country illegally, had seven criminal convictions, had been deported five times, and was in possession of a stolen gun at the time of the shooting.

Image Credit: Screenshot/NBC Bay Area
Screenshot/NBC Bay Area

He'd just been freed from prison for dealing drugs and was due to be deported. Instead, San Francisco's sheriff, invoking the city's sanctuary policies, asked that the criminal be set loose in their city.

The San Francisco judge will consider the motion to dismiss the charges at the end of January.