Mexican acquitted of murder faces gun, immigration charges

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon gestures during a media conference on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in San Francisco. Gascon is defending the handling of a murder trial that ended with the acquittal of a Mexican man whose arrest set off a fierce national debate on immigration. Gascon said Tuesday that he still believes Jose Ines Garcia Zarate should have been convicted of murder in the 2015 death of Kate Steinle. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
FILE - In this July 7, 2015 file photo, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor, center, for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, defended the handling of the murder trial that ended with the acquittal of Garcia Zarate, whose arrest set off a fierce national debate on immigration. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, Pool, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. authorities on Tuesday charged a Mexican man with new immigration and gun violations less than a week after a San Francisco jury acquitted him of murder for the shooting death of Kate Steinle, a case that helped fuel a fierce national debate on immigration.

A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate Tuesday on one count each of felon in possession of a firearm and of "being an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States" in possession of a gun and ammunition, according to the indictment.

A San Francisco jury last week convicted him of a state charge of felon in possession of a firearm after acquitting him of murder and assault for the July 1, 2015 shooting.

The state conviction carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail. He has been in jail since the day of the shooting. His public defender Matt Gonzalez said Garcia Zarate will ask a judge to toss out the state conviction. Garcia Zarate is to be sentenced in state court Dec. 14.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon on Tuesday defended his office's handling of the case. He said he still believed Garcia Zarate should have been convicted of Steinle's murder.

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. Jurors could also have convicted Garcia Zarate of second-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter but chose not to.

Jurors left court last week without speaking publicly about their verdict and Gascon said they have not spoken with prosecutors either.

Garcia Zarate said he found a gun under a chair on a San Francisco pier. He said it fired accidentally when he picked it up.

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

Garcia Zarate had been deported five time before the shooting. 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.

San Francisco is a so-called sanctuary city and local officials are limited in the cooperation they can give with federal deportation efforts.

President Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from cities with similar policies.

Gascon on Tuesday called Trump a "madman" for a series of tweets deriding the jury's verdict.

Must Read

Scott Dixon wins IndyCar pole at Watkins Glen

Sep 3, 2016

Scott Dixon won the IndyCar pole at Watkins Glen International on Saturday for the Grand Prix at...

Pipeline operator Enbridge to buy Spectra Energy...

Sep 6, 2016

Canada's Enbridge is buying Houston-based Spectra Energy for about $28 billion, creating North...

Astros keep up playoff push with victory over Cubs

Sep 11, 2016

Houston rookie Alex Bregman continued his hot streak with a homer that helped the Astros beat the...

Love chooses Fowler, Holmes, Kuchar for Ryder Cup

Sep 12, 2016

United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has chosen Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes and Matt...

Police: Ex-auto racer's father strangles wife,...

Sep 16, 2016

The father of former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon strangled his wife then shot himself in their...

People also read these

IndyCar returns to The Glen; speeds rise on new...

Sep 2, 2016

IndyCar racing returned to Watkins Glen International on Friday after a six-year hiatus, and New...

Manny Pacquiao puts retirement on hold, takes on...

Sep 9, 2016

Manny Pacquiao is determined to fight on, even without Floyd Mayweather across the ring or HBO in...

Hamlin finally wins a pole; will start first at...

Sep 10, 2016

Denny Hamlin has won the pole for Friday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at...

Day withdraws from BMW Championship with back pain

Sep 11, 2016

Jason Day withdrew from the BMW Championship after eight holes on Sunday with back pain, making him...

NCAA turns up pressure on North Carolina over...

Sep 13, 2016

The NCAA's decision to pull seven championships out of North Carolina could dramatically ratchet up...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH

About Us

In The Headline sought to bring professionalism back into journalism, bringing you only the most exclusive and the most impactive news from all over the globe.

Contact us: sales@intheheadline.com