A Mexican immigrant was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in San Francisco on Thursday in the politically charged shooting death of a woman, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on its Twitter page.
Donald Trump used Steinle's killing and Garcia Zarate's trial in his campaign for president, while calling for tougher immigration laws.
A prosecutor said in her closing arguments November 20 that Zarate was "playing his own secret version of Russian roulette" when he shot and killed Steinle in July 2015.
Zarate's defense lawyer, Francisco Ugarte, remarked that the death of Steinle was an "incomprehensible tragedy" but also commented that the ruling was a vindication for immigrants.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted of the murder charge following the 2015 shooting, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle.
The sheriff's department released him a few days later after prosecutors dropped the marijuana charge, despite a request from federal immigration officials to detain him for deportation. Garcia Zarate did not deny shooting Steinle but said it was an accident. Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the US five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis.
Jose Garcia Zarate Found Not Guilty Of Kate Steinle Murder, Twitter Reacts
The weapon, as it turned out, had been stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week before.
The bullet pierced the San Francisco woman's lower back and tore through her abdominal aorta.
The bullet's trajectory, which ricocheted off the pier's surface before hitting Steinle in the lower back, appears to support the claim that Garcia Zarate was not pointing the gun at her directly when it was sacked.
Yet in aftermath of his sister's death, Brad Steinle spoke out against then-candidate Trump for "sensationalizing" her death. The city has been plagued by an epidemic of vehicle burglaries in recent years.
"My opponent wants Sanctuary Cities". The administration has appealed. He had finished a federal prison sentence for illegal re-entry into the United States and was transferred in March 2015 to San Francisco's jail to face a 20-year-old charge for selling marijuana. A local ordinance prohibits employees from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement with immigration investigations or arrests "unless such help is required by federal or state law or a warrant". On April 15, 2015, Zarate was freed from the San Francisco County Jail. "It's disconcerting", Brad Steinle told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Several months after Steinle's death, Trump claimed that she had been shot five times. "She would still be alive today if her killer had been imprisoned or deported, as he should have been".