The lawyer for the undocumented immigrant who was found not guilty in November 2017 for the 2015 fatal shooting of a woman on the San Francisco pier — but convicted for illegally possessing a weapon — has appealed the conviction.
He is arguing the undocumented immigrant fired the gun by accident and that the “momentary possession” of a gun is not a crime.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 46 (shown above right), a previous felon and undocumented immigrant who served nearly two years for felony re-entry into the U.S. from Mexico, was sentenced to three years in prison for the gun conviction while he awaits deportation.
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In July 2015, Kate Steinle, 32 (above left) was walking on San Francisco pier with her father when a bullet ricocheted off the pier’s concrete floor and fatally struck her in the back.
Garcia Zarate was reportedly holding the gun after it “unexpectedly” went off and threw it in the bay, prosecutors said.
Zarate was acquitted of murder, manslaughter and assault charges — but was convicted of illegally possessing a firearm.
The case sparked a national fervor about illegal immigration run amok, with President Donald Trump calling the verdict “a complete travesty of justice.”
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Garcia Zarate’s lawyer, Cliff Gardner, filed a motion on Friday with the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.
He asked the court to overturn his client’s conviction and order a new trial because Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng did not instruct the jury that “momentary possession” of a gun is not a crime — and the jury had no choice but to convict Garcia Zarate.
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And check out this video for more background on Steinle’s murder:
Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. This Fox News piece is used by permission.
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