Illegal Immigrant Acquitted of Murdering Kate Steinle Sentenced on Federal Weapons Charges


The illegal immigrant involved in the shooting death of Kate Steinle in 2015 was sentenced to time already served on Monday in connection with federal charges against him.

Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate was acquitted of murder in the death of Steinle, who was struck down by a bullet while walking on a San Francisco pier with her family.

Although a state court convicted him of being a felon illegally in possession of a weapon in the same trial in which he was acquitted of murder,  federal weapons charges were later filed against Garcia-Zarate.

Garcia-Zarate pleaded guilty in March to federal charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and to being an alien unlawfully present in this country in possession of a firearm, according to a Department of Justice news release.

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On Monday, he was sentenced to the seven years he has already spent in jail since his arrest after Steinle’s death, according to Fox News.

According to KNTV-TV, the most Garcia-Zarate, 51, could have served on the charge was 10 years.

“If you return to this country again and you are back in front of me, I will not spare you. Let this be your last warning: Do not return to this country,” U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria told Garcia-Zarate Monday.

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The illegal immigrant, who is a Mexican national, now heads to Texas to face charges in a separate case of failing to report to immigration officials.

Garcia-Zarate’s plea admitted to being on the San Francisco pier where Steinle was shot on July 1, 2015, and that he had a pistol loaded with eight rounds.

Although there was little dispute that the gun in Garcia-Zarate’s possession killed Steinle, his claim during his murder trial was that he merely picked up the gun, causing it to go off.

Steinle was killed by a bullet that ricocheted off the pier and struck her.

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At the time of the 2015 incident, Garcia-Zarate had already been deported from the U.S. five times.

The gun had been stolen from the vehicle of a Bureau of Land Management ranger.

The case ignited a furor over the presence of illegal immigrants in America and the crimes committed by individuals who had been deported but since returned to the U.S.

Garcia-Zarate at one time was diagnosed with schizophrenia but was declared competent to stand trial last year.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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