Federal officials have charged Jose Inez Garcia Zarate with immigration and gun possession violations, one week after the illegal alien was acquitted in the murder of Kate Steinle.
Garcia Zarate was accused of gunning down 32-year-old Steinle, a Pleasanton native, on Pier 14 in San Francisco's Embarcadero neighborhood.
The defendant accused of shooting Kate Steinle is facing new federal charges, just days after being acquitted of murder in a high-profile state trial.
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Garcia Zarate has been indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and for being an illegally present alien on possession of a firearm.
Garcia Zarate has been deported and had returned to the United States five times.
"The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court", Trump tweeted Friday. He claimed the shooting was accidental.
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The Justice Department said that the federal charges are the result of an investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed as much on Fox News, saying Garcia Zarate will continue to remain in custody before he's ultimately deported. The San Francisco sheriff's department also released him from jail several weeks before the shooting despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain him for deporation. But the jury did convict him of being a felon with a gun.
He now is in state custody on other charges, the Justice Department statement said, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on the new counts.
"Last week was not a verdict we were hoping for".
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Legal experts have said prosecutors overreached by asking for a first-degree murder conviction because the fatal shot ricocheted off the ground, supporting Garcia Zarate's defense that the shooting was an accident. Her death has now become a rallying cry for more stringent immigration laws, including a crackdown on "sanctuary cities" and the creation of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.