Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a homeless, illegal immigrant from Mexico was found not guilty of murder on Thursday. The controversial case was put on a national stage by President Donald Trump during his candidacy, using it several times to back up his desire to build a wall. Zarate, 45, was accused of shooting 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle to death on San Francisco pier in 2015, NBC reports.
Trump is definitely not happy with the verdict. In fact, he called it a disgrace in a Thursday tweet.
Steinle’s family is also upset with the verdict.
"We're just shocked — saddened and shocked ... that's about it," Kathryn’s dad Jim Steinle told the San Francisco Chronicle. "There's no other way you can coin it. Justice was rendered, but it was not served."
Jim actually held his daughter in his arms as she died after being shot on Pier 14. The family members and a friend were taking a walk when Kathryn was tragically killed. Zarate was found guilty of possessing a firearm. The night Kathryn died, a bullet from Zarate’s gun was reportedly aimed at concrete. It then ricocheted before fatally striking Kathryn.
The case has been credited with contributing to polarizing the country on immigration issues.
Defense Attorney Matt Gonzalez has a message for those who dislike Thursday’s verdict: “For those who might be critical of this verdict, there are a number of people that have commented on this case in the last couple of years — the attorney general of the United States, the president and vice president of the United States — let me just remind them that they are themselves are under investigation by a special prosecutor in Washington, D.C. [...] They may themselves soon avail themselves of the presumption of innocence and beyond a reasonable doubt standard.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement of his own on Thursday, according to SFGate, saying, “When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”
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