Illegal immigrant acquitted of murder in politically charged San Francisco trial

Mexican Man Found Not Guilty of Murder Charges in 2015 Fatal Shooting of Kate Steinle

In a response to the verdict, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also released a statement saying despite California's attempt at a murder conviction, Zarate was able to walk away with only one conviction because he was not turned over by San Francisco to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The shooting, which occurred in a so-called sanctuary city, sparked a national debate about immigration reform.

Without knowledge of his release, ICE officials would have to use sources and evidence to track down Lopez-Sanchez before he moves around the U.S.to possibly avoid deportation.

Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend on a sunny day in July 2015 when she was shot, collapsing into her father's arms.

Steinle's story has been prominent in Republicans' push for immigration reform - including a bill passed by the House this summer titled "Kate's Law," which creates harsher punishments for illegal re-entry into the US.

The case became a political lightning rod in the debate over immigration policy.

The basic question the jury had to decide was whether Garcia Zarate intentionally and willfully fired the single shot that killed Kate Steinle.

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"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", Sessions said.

Sessions continued, "I urge the leaders of the nation's communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers".

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News.

"San Francisco's policy of refusing to honor ICE detainers is a blatant threat to public safety and undermines the rule of law", Homan said in a statement after the verdict Thursday. Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the US five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis. The bullet ricocheted on the pier's concrete walkway and fatally struck Steinle in the back.

Garcia Zarate said he found the stolen gun wrapped in a shirt under a chair on a pedestrian pier and that the weapon accidentally fired when he picked it up.

"My opponent wants Sanctuary Cities". Freya Horne, chief legal counsel to the county sheriff who runs the jail, told CNN that he was let go because there was no legal cause to detain the suspect.

Prosecutors said the verdict was not what they had hoped for, but they respect the decision. He had been deported from the United States five times prior to Steinle's death. "She would still be alive today if her killer had been imprisoned or deported, as he should have been".

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