Remember the murder of Kate Steinle? Justice is still not served

The news hit the headlines when it happened in San Francisco, back in 2015. Kate Steinle, 32, was shot to death as she walked along the waterfront on July 4, with her father and a family friend. The cold-bloodedness of the senseless crime shook the city and the nation as well.

The police quickly had a suspect and, in fact, the gun used in the crime. That man is Jose Inez Garcia Zarate. At that time, he was in this country illegally and had already been deported five times, but continued to return.

At the time of the shooting, he had recently completed a prison sentence for illegal reentry to the country. He then was transferred to San Francisco for a 20-year-old marijuana charge. The case was declined by prosecutors, and he was released by the San Francisco sheriff.

That’s why he was out on the street again, despite a federal immigration request to detain him for at least two more days for deportation. It was one of those situations where local officials, because of sanctuary city status, refuse to cooperate with the feds.

As for the gun used to kill Steinle, Zarate admitted firing it. He said he found it under a bench, wrapped in a T-shirt. He said, at the time, he didn’t know what it was and that it fired accidentally when he picked it up. Statements by officials said that the bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit Steinle.

The gun in question belonged to a U.S. Bureau of Land Management ranger. He had reported it stolen from his parked car a week before Kate Steinle was killed.

Two doctors diagnosed Zarate with schizophrenia and have found him to be unfit for retrial because of his mental condition. The judge in the case said he doesn’t believe prosecutors proved he acted with criminal recklessness in the shooting. Zarate was acquitted of murder, and officials say he likely didn’t understand what was happening on the day of the killing, because of his mental state.

He was acquitted of homicide charges by a San Francisco jury in 2017 but faced firearms charges in federal court.

In March, Zarate pleaded guilty to being felon in possession of a firearm and a person illegally in the country in possession of a firearm.

The result was that last Monday, a California federal judge sentenced him to the seven years he’s already spent in jail. According to his lawyer, Mike Hinckley, Zarate “feels horrible about what happened, and that he’s very sorry and apologizes.”

The decision by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, clarified that Zarate faces deportation, and the judge told him, before sentencing, never to return to the United States.

“If you return to this country again and you are back in front of me, I will not spare you. Let this be your last warning: do not return to this country.”

Given his history, I’ll bet Zarate is shaking in his boots!

That’s not the end of his judicial issues. He will now be sent to Texas where he faces a federal judge for not reporting his location when he was originally released from a San Francisco jail before the shooting!

It never ends.

As for the San Francisco hearing, relatives of Kate Steinle were not present in court for the sentencing. According to prosecutors, they said they did not want to participate in the proceeding.

Speaking as an outsider who followed the case in the media, I can’t blame them. The whole thing was a legal farce, and the fact that this man has gotten away with what he has is a sin.

And Kate Steinle is still dead.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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