Watch CBS News

Defense Attorney In Kate Steinle Case To Appeal Gun Possession Conviction

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lawyers for a Mexican man who was acquitted in the shooting death of a young San Francisco woman that sparked a national immigration debate said Monday they will ask a judge to toss his gun possession conviction.

Lawyers for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate say they will argue that he didn't know he had a gun in his hand until it fired.

Garcia Zarate has said he found an object wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench on a pier that turned out to be gun and accidentally fired when he picked it up.

His lawyers say that doesn't constitute possession of a weapon. They intend to seek the dismissal after a sentencing hearing set for Dec. 14.

A jury acquitted Garcia Zarate last week of murder, involuntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon in the 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle.

Garcia Zarate had been deported five times before he was arrested a few hours after the shooting. The San Francisco sheriff's department also released Garcia Zarate several weeks before the shooting despite a federal immigration request to detain him.

The weapon possession count carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Garcia Zarate has been in jail since July 1, 2015.

Immigration authorities said they will deport Garcia Zarate after he serves his sentence.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.