A jury of six men and six women has acquitted a five-time deportee charged in Kate Steinle's death, per San Francisco's ABC 7.
Steinle was shot as she walked next to her father along Pier 14 in San Francisco in July 2015.
The accused shooter, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, told police he shot Steinle. However, he said he found the gun under a chair at the pier wrapped in a piece of cloth, and it accidentally discharged when he picked it up. The bullet then ricocheted and hit Steinle, according to the defense.
The Mercury News reported the gun was the biggest issue in the trial:
Much of the trial has focused on the Sig Sauer pistol that fired the fatal shot, which was stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management agent’s car several days before the shooting. Garcia Zarate, who was homeless, said he found the gun wrapped in some sort of cloth under a seat he was sitting on at the pier. The defense called a weapons expert who said that make of gun has a history of misfiring, while the prosecution maintained that it would be difficult to fire it unintentionally.
The case was championed by then-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly over the issue of San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” status — which prevented local authorities from cooperating with federal officials on illegal aliens.
President Donald Trump pointed to the case as a prime reason why the United States needed a better border wall.
Garcia Zarate had an immigration hold on him, but San Francisco authorities released him from jail.
Garcia Zarate’s attorney alleged the man, who’d been convicted of several drug crimes and was in line to be deported for the sixth time, simply found the gun and accidentally shot Steinle.
The family sued over San Francisco’s sanctuary status, but the claim was dismissed. Their case against the Bureau of Land management, which employs the officer whose gun was found and used in the shooting, continues.
The next time you hear a Democrat talk about protecting illegals or defending Sanctuary Cities, remind them that it's because of an illegal and Sanctuary Cities that Kate Steinle is no longer alive today. pic.twitter.com/7NWc3mYQyj
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) December 1, 2017
Steinle’s last words were, “Help me daddy."
Garcia Zarate was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.