Kate Steinle Murder Trial: Jury begins deliberations

 

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The jury has begun deliberations Tuesday in the murder of Kate Steinle who was killed on San Francisco’s Pier 14 in July 2015.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate has been charged with second-degree murder. Jurors will also be allowed to consider first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter verdicts.

The lawyer for a Mexican national accused of killing Steinle in a case that launched a fierce immigration debate told jurors that he knows it’s hard to believe the shooting was an accident.

But defense attorney Matt Gonzalez said Tuesday that his client found a gun, it went off and Steinle died. He wrapped up his closing argument by telling jurors that Steinle’s death was horrible, but “nothing you do is going to fix that.”

Gonzalez says prosecutors are pushing a “wild narrative” that Garcia Zarate set out to hurt someone he doesn’t know. He says they haven’t provided any evidence to prove it.

The six-woman, six-man jury will decide the fate of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate.

Prosecutors argue he deliberately shot Steinle while the defense says he was a hapless homeless man who found a stolen gun that went off by accident.

At the time of the 2015 killing, Garcia Zarate had been deported from the U.S. five times. He had just finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry and was wanted for a sixth deportation.

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump seized upon Steinle’s death to decry America’s loose borders.

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