Feds File New Charges Against Undocumented Immigrant In Kate Steinle Case

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Federal officials file new charges against man acquitted in Kate Steinle case

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was indicted by a grand jury for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm, the Department of Justice said. They intend to seek the dismissal after a sentencing hearing set for December 14.

A federal grand jury has indicted the undocumented immigrant who was acquitted last week of murder and manslaughter charges in the case of Kate Steinle.

The 47-year-old said the firearm accidentally fired when he picked it up, and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before it struck Steinle, a 32-year-old medical device saleswoman.

The state conviction carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail, while each new federal charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. 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. They believe the gun possession conviction seemed at odds with the acquittals, given that those verdicts aligned with the defense contention that Garcia Zarate found the gun by happenstance at the pier where the shooting occurred.

The not-guilty verdict in the controversial case came as a surprise to the victim's family and many Americans.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five time before the shooting.

Garcia Zarate faced a charge of second-degree murder, but jurors were allowed to consider first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter convictions.

President Donald Trump frequently brought up the case previous year during his presidential campaign to criticize efforts in the U.S.to combat illegal immigration.

The case sparked a fierce debate over sanctuary cities, and forced San Francisco officials to defend its policy.

The case also caught the attention of presidential candidate Donald Trump a year ago, who used it to highlight crime committed by undocumented immigrants during his campaign.

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