Mexican man acquitted of murder pleads guilty to gun charges

San Francisco (AP) — A Mexican man acquitted of murder in a 2015 shooting of a woman at a pier in San Francisco, which has become a national fire for immigrants, pleaded guilty to federal guns on Monday. ..

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 51, entered his plea almost seven years after shooting Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015 while walking on a crowded waterfront. rice field. The case helped fuel a fierce national debate about immigrants and sanctuary cities that limit local cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

In late 2017, a San Francisco High Court jury acquitted Garcia Zarate on a variety of charges, including murder. However, shortly after his acquittal, federal prosecutors charged him with two illegal gun possessions.

Federal gun charges have been suspended since 2017 after Judge Vince Chabria of the US District Court expressed concern about Garcia Zarate’s psychic abilities. Two doctors diagnosed Garcia Zarate as schizophrenia and found that he was unfit to stand in court because he was unable to follow court proceedings.

One of the doctors reported to the court last month that Garcia Zarate was capable of going to court after taking her medicine regularly.

On Monday, Chabria asked Garcia Zarate to summarize the accusations against him as a way to confirm his abilities.

“The accusation was because I was illegally in the country and had a firearm,” Garcia Zarate said in Spanish through a court interpreter.

Garcia Zarate has been deported five times and was required to undergo a sixth deportation procedure when he fatally shot the 32-year-old Steinle.

He admitted to having the gun that killed Steinle, but accidentally fired when she found her wrapped in a T-shirt under the bench at Pier 15 walking with her father. Said.

Shooting has become a major campaign issue in multiple national and local races across the country. During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump repeatedly mentioned shootings to strengthen his debate on stricter immigration policies and opposition to so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

Garcia Zarate faces up to 10 years in prison. He will be sentenced on June 6th.


This version has been updated to correct the spelling of Jose Inez Garcia Zarate.