The trial for the illegal immigrant who shot and killed Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015 begins this week. It brings the case to a close but leaves the immigration debate far from settled and the law passed in her name stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate claims that Steinle’s death was an accident. He said he found a handgun wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench on the pier and that it fired as he tried to extract it, shooting the 32-year-old Steinle in the back while she was walking with her father.
The handgun originally belonged to a Bureau of Land Management ranger who had reported it stolen a week before the shooting. Zarate has been charged with second-degree murder and will face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
Now 54, Zarate had been deported five times previously. On the campaign trail, President Trump criticized the state of California’s weak immigration policy for failing to keep Steinle’s killer out of the country. President Trump strongly supported the passage of Kate’s Law, which would increase penalties for those who attempt to reenter the country after deportation.
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