After a San Francisco jury acquitted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate of the more serious charges in the death of Kate Steinle, a Justice Department spokeswoman said he still could face a federal charge of felony re-entry into the U.S.
The Justice Department is considering bringing federal charges against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate after his not guilty verdict in San Francisco’s Kate Steinle murder trial, reports Fox News. A jury acquitted Garcia Zarate of the more serious charges in the case, including murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon, convicting him only of being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. immigration officials had said they would deport Garcia Zarate, who already had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father. Garcia Zarate could spend three years in prison for the firearm charge but has already been behind bars for over two years as the case has made its way through court.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said a possible federal charge could be felony re-entry or a charge pertaining to a violation of supervised release. “We’re looking at every option and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law because these cases are tragic and entirely preventable,” Flores said. She urged local governments to “reconsider” sanctuary policies.“T his is a person who had been deported five times—he knew about San Francisco’s sanctuary policies. This is a person that never should have been on that pier, and Kate Steinle would still be alive,” she said. The consideration of federal charges comes as President Trump called the verdict “disgraceful” and used the case to rally support for a border wall.