Steinle Shooter Dodges State Prison, Sentenced To Time Served
The illegal immigrant who discharged a firearm and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle was sentenced to three years in prison Friday, but he won’t be spending any more time in state jail.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted of Steinle’s murder in December, but a jury convicted him of the lesser charge of a felony in possession of a firearm. Since he has been detained in the San Francisco jail since his arrest on July 1, 2015, he was credited for time served.
Garcia Zarate will be on state parole for 48 months and will be transferred to federal custody. He faces federal weapons charges under a Dec. 5 indictment.
The Steinle shooting touched off a nationwide debate over sanctuary cities after it was revealed that San Francisco authorities had released Garcia Zarate despite an outstanding detention request by immigration authorities. Then-candidate Donald Trump pointed to the incident as a tragic consequence of San Francisco’s refusal to cooperate with immigration authorities.
At trial, defense attorneys conceded that Garcia Zarate fired the shot that killed Steinle, but asserted that he had accidentally discharged the pistol, which he found under a bench on the San Francisco pier. That argument swayed the jury, which acquitted Garcia Zarate of murder, manslaughter, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Garcia Zarate could be arraigned as early as next week for the federal weapons charge, reports Fox News. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
Immigration officials have also said they plan to deport Garcia Zarate for a sixth time.
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