An immigration watchdog was pleased to learn this week that a federal prosecutor will pursue criminal charges against an illegal alien who was acquitted of a 2015 murder.
U.S. Attorney David Anderson announced on Wednesday his office will pursue federal gun charges against Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate after a California appeals court overturned a conviction for felony possession of a firearm last week.
Garcia-Zarate, a five-time deported illegal from Mexico, kicked off fierce debate over illegal immigration after he shot and killed a woman, Kate Steinle, on a popular San Francisco pier.
It was later learned that Garcia-Zarate should have been handed over to ICE agents, since it had issued a detainer for him, but the liberal city’s “sanctuary policy” allowed him to go free despite a drug warrant that had placed him in a county jail cell. He was released in April and shot Steinle on July 1 on Pier 14, using a .40 caliber pistol that had been stolen from the vehicle of a Bureau of Land Management ranger days earlier.
At the trial, defense attorneys told jurors the defendant had accidentally fired the stolen pistol and Steinle was killed by a single round to the back that had ricocheted off concrete before striking her.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation of American Immigration Reform, says it wasn’t just the illegal alien who is responsible for Steinle’s death.
“It was all the politicians,” he says, “who made the policies that put him out on the pier in the first place."
Anderson, the U.S. attorney, told Fox News it’s unclear for now what consequences Garcia-Zarate will face for the new charges against him.
“There is a chance for at least some measure of justice,” the attorney said. “But it is justice in a case that never should have happened in the first place."
According to Fox News, state prosecutors charged Garcia-Zarate with a string of serious charges, including not just first-degree murder but also second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and assault with a weapon. Yet the jury acquitted him of all charges except felony possession.