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It's Not Over for Man Cleared of Murder on SF Pier

It's Not Over for Man Cleared of Murder on SF Pier

Federal authorities have 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.

Garcia Zarate has been indicted on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and for being an illegally present alien on possession of a firearm.

Steinle's death set off a national debate over sanctuary city policies, as Garcia-Zarate had been released from a San Francisco jail before the shooting and was not turned over to immigration agents for deportation.

Garcia Zarate, who is from Mexico and has been deported from the U.S. five times, faces up to 10 years in prison on each count, if convicted. However he has been in jail since the shooting on July 1, 2015 and will get credit for time served.

Federal officials already have a criminal warrant signed by a judge in 2015 for Garcia Zarate, and he will be released to the U.S. Marshal once he is eligible to be released following the conclusion of his state case, according to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department. Defense attorneys argued that Garcia Zarate found the handgun and that it went off accidentally. At the time, Kate was strolling on a pier with her dad when she was shot by Zarate, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had been deported five times.

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

Less than a week after his murder acquittal, the undocumented immigrant accused of killing a woman on a San Francisco pier was indicted on federal weapons charges. The case has sparked national outrage over sanctuary cities, and the need for stricter laws on illegal immigration. Garcia Zarate claimed the shooting was accidental.

San Francisco prohibits city law enforcement officers from asking about immigration status or detaining people exclusively on the basis of civil immigration detainers after they are eligible for release.

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

Trump in a tweet called the not guilty verdict in the case "disgraceful" and said "No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration".