Defendant in Kathryn Steinle’s Death Indicted on Federal Gun Charges

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (R) enters court for an arraignment with San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi (L) on July 7, 2015 in San Francisco.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (R) enters court for an arraignment with San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi (L) on July 7, 2015, in San Francisco. (Michael Macor-Pool/Getty Images)

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is now wanted in two federal districts following his acquittal on murder and manslaughter counts in San Francisco last week.

Garcia Zarate was charged with murder and related crimes for the death of Kathryn Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront in 2015. The case has drawn national attention since then-presidential candidate Donald Trump seized on Garcia Zarate’s history of deportations and illegal re-entry in the U.S. to criticize so-called sanctuary cities like San Francisco. Garcia Zarate was released in San Francisco two months before Steinle’s death despite a request from immigration authorities to turn him over for deportation.

A San Francisco jury found Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder and manslaughter charges — appearing to agree with the defense argument that the ricochet shot that killed Steinle was an accidental discharge. The jury found Garcia Zarate guilty of being a felon in possession of a handgun, which was stolen from a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger’s car four days before Steinle’s death.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced an indictment of Garcia Zarate Tuesday evening, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and being an immigrant in the country illegally in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each charge, according to the U.S. attorney’s announcement.

Shortly after his acquittal, a warrant seeking Garcia Zarate’s arrest for violating conditions of his release from federal prison was unsealed in a Texas federal court.

Garcia Zarate is scheduled to be sentenced for his conviction in San Francisco next week. It’s unclear when he will be taken into federal custody to answer the new charges.

Read the Northern California indictment below.

Defendant in Kathryn Steinle’s Death Indicted on Federal Gun Charges 6 December,2017Alex Emslie

  • Curious

    The SF verdict was a travesty . Supporters of illegals and sanctuary cities have blood on their hands.

  • virgil

    Finally some good news!! It isnt what he deserved (which was a long stay in a CA max security prison) but at least the Feds will keep him off the streets for a while….that is unless SF turns him lose first!!

  • virgil

    I am getting tired of CA Report constant use of this dirt bags’ photo and hardly any (if any) photos of the victim Ms. Steinle. I guess it is just more of the normal bias and one sided “reporting” on this case we have come to expect from CA Report.

  • Curious

    Zarate’s acquittal was a travesty of justice. All supporters of illegals and sanctuary cities have blood on their hands.

Author

Alex Emslie

Alex Emslie is a criminal justice reporter at KQED. He covers policing policy, crime and the courts.

He left Colorado and a career as a carpenter in 2008 to study journalism at City College of San Francisco. He then graduated from San Francisco State University’s journalism program with a minor in criminal justice studies. Prior to joining KQED in 2013, Alex freelanced for various news outlets including the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner and Bay Guardian.

Alex is proud of his¬†work at KQED on a spike in fatal officer-involved shootings in Vallejo, which uncovered that a single officer shot and killed three suspects over the course of five months. Alex’s work with a team at KQED on police encounters with people in psychiatric crisis was cited in amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. He received the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists Best Scoop award in 2015 for exposing a series of bigoted text messages swapped by San Francisco police officers. He was honored with 2010 San Francisco Peninsula Press Club and California Newspaper Publishers Association awards for breaking news reporting on the trial following the shooting of Oscar Grant.¬†Email: aemslie@kqed.org. Twitter: @SFNewsReporter.

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