Jury finds Jose Ines Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder in shooting of Kate Steinle
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate and Kate Steinle (Photo: Mugshot and photo from family)

The jury reached a verdict in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was accused of murdering Kate Steinle. Steinle was used as a political talking point during the 2016 election, primarily by President Donald Trump in opposition to immigration and sanctuary cities. Zarate is a Mexican citizen with previous criminal convictions who was deported five times and came back into the United states as an undocumented immigrant.


Zarate was found not guilty specifically on the murder charge. He was, however, found guilty of possession of a stolen weapon.

"They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," Trump said when he announced his candidacy for president in 2015. Steinle was killed the month after Trump's announcement and her family and story became a cornerstone of his speeches.

The defense claimed that Zarate didn't intentionally kill Steinle because the bullet ricocheted while holding a gun he found the gun in a dumpster and picked up. After the gun allegedly went off, he threw the weapon into the bay. The gun was stolen from a Bureau of Land Management agent. Conservatives have argued Steinle should not be dead because Zarate should not have been let back into the United States.

San Francisco is a sanctuary city and the Steinle family has filed a lawsuit against the city as well as the Bureau of Land Management because the agent left his car open with the gun in it.