A San Francisco jury found the illegal immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle not guilty of murder Thursday, a stunning result in a case that ignited a nationwide debate over illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.
After five days of jury deliberation, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 54, was found not guilty on all counts, except for felony possession of a weapon. Zarate faced a charge of second-degree murder, but jurors were also instructed to consider first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
At trial, Zarate admitted to firing the shot that killed Steinle, but the defense contended that the gun “went off” in his hands after he found it underneath a bench on the San Francisco pier.
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