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Illegal Immigrant Acquitted of Kate Steinle Murder Accused Government of “Vindictive Prosecution”
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Kate Steinle and Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. Photo courtesy of People.

Summary: The man acquitted of murdering Kate Steinle said that the government is still targetting him. 

In December, undocumented immigrant Jose Garcia-Zarate was acquitted of the death of Kate Steinle, 32. On Tuesday, he filed legal documents saying that the government was still trying to go after him again for the same crime.

  
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According to Fox News, Garcia-Zarate was charged days after the Steinle murder acquittal of possessing a stolen firearm in that incident; and this week, he filed a motion saying the government was committing a double-jeopardy violation.

“The true federal interest in pursuing this prosecution is to punish and make an example out of Mr. Garcia-Zarate for his high-profile acquittal in state court,” the motion stated. “This prosecution seeks to demonstrate to any high-profile defendant, especially one that is an undocumented immigrant, that their successful exercise of due process rights will not be respected and will result in the heavy hammer of a federal prosecution.”

Garcia-Zarate was acquitted last year of first and second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. He was on trial for the July 2015 death of Steinle in San Francisco, and prosecutors said that the illegal immigrant had shot and killed Steinle.

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Garcia-Zarate’s defense team said that he had a stolen gun that had accidentally gone off and killed Steinle; and a jury acquitted him of the murder and manslaughter charges but had convicted him for having the firearm.

Days after Garcia-Zarate’s acquittal, he was indicted by a grand jury for possessing the stolen handgun that had killed Steinle, and in his Tuesday motion, he accused the government of “vindictive prosecution.”



The death of Kate Steinle has been used by President Donald Trump as an example of why he wanted stricter immigration policies. Before Steinle’s death, illegal immigrant Garcia-Zarate had been released from jail for months and not required to return to his home country of Mexico because of the city’s sanctuary laws.

Upon hearing Garcia-Zarate’s verdict, Trump called the acquittal “disgraceful.”

In Tuesday’s motion, Garcia-Zarate cited Trump’s negative comments about him as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statements that San Francisco’s sanctuary policies led to Steinle’s death. He said that those high-profile critics of him are proof that the federal government was “critically involved” in his prosecution and have a vendetta to get him.

“Mr. Garcia-Zarate contends that this prosecution against him is vindictive, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and violates Double Jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment because of ongoing collusion between the State of California and the federal government,” Garcia-Zarate’s motion states. “Through counsel, Mr. Garcia-Zarate intends to bring motions to dismiss this prosecution on those grounds.”

Garcia-Zarate wants the latest indictment to be dismissed, and he seeks discovery of all documents and communications related to his case.

What do you think of Jose Garcia-Zarate? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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