Defendant in Kathryn Steinle's Death Indicted on Federal Gun Charges

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate with San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi in July was acquitted on the homicide charges

Federal authorities have charged Jose Ines Garcia Zarate Tuesday with new immigration and gun violations less than a week after a San Francisco jury acquitted him of murder for the shooting death of Kate Steinle.

Garcia-Zarate, 54, will now face federal charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, as well as for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The defendant accused of shooting Kate Steinle is facing new federal charges, just days after being acquitted of murder in a high-profile state trial.

Under a sanctuary city law, San Francisco authorities released him from custody three months before the shooting, instead of turning him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Zarate was acquitted last week in Steinle's death.

Defense lawyers for Garcia Zarate said Monday they will appeal the state charge for which he was convicted. She was shot to death as she walked on the San Francisco bayfront with her father in 2015.

The 47-year-old said the firearm accidentally fired when he picked it up, and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before it struck Steinle, a 32-year-old medical device saleswoman.

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Garcia Zarate said he found a gun under a chair on a San Francisco pier.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon was critical on Tuesday of the federal charges - saying the Trump administration has turned the Zarate case into a "political football".

Deputy District Attorney Diana Garcia said in her opening statements in October that Garcia Zarate "meant to shoot" at people, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five time before the shooting. The case sparked a national debate over illegal immigration and sanctuary cities.

President Donald Trump frequently brought up the case previous year during his presidential campaign to criticize efforts in the U.S.to combat illegal immigration.

President Trump has demanded funding for the border wall, but Congress has yet to agree to provide beyond the $20 million allotted for prototypes and related infrastructure.

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