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Shooter In Kate Steinle Slaying Asks Judge For Jail Or Deportation

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) -- Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle while she walked with her father on a San Francisco pier in 2015, has told a federal judge he wants to be sentenced to prison or be deported back to Mexico.

Steinle, 32, was struck and killed by a ricocheting bullet discharged from a gun held by Garcia Zarate on Pier 14 on July 1, 2015. The shooting figured prominently in President Donald Trump's run for the White House four years ago.

Garcia Zarate, 47, was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in San Francisco Superior Court in 2017, but he still faces two federal criminal charges of being an ex-felon and an undocumented person in possession of a gun. He has been in detention since July 2015.

U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria currently in the process of ruling on Garcia Zarate's mental competency to stand trial on those charges. Chhabria had raised "serious concerns" about Garcia Zarate's mental capacities back in January.

"I'm tired of waiting here," Garcia Zarate told the court during a hearing Friday through a Spanish interpreter, adding that he wanted to be sentenced to prison or deported back to Mexico.

Two doctors have diagnosed Garcia Zarate with schizophrenia and found him unfit to stand trial because he cannot follow the court proceedings. They said he believes electronics are broadcasting messages to him and other inmates and that he believes his attorney is accepting bribes from the police.

Garcia Zarate has also said he wants to plead guilty. The judge told him he would not be allowed to do so on Friday.

Garcia Zarate's defense attorney Tony Serra requested the hearing to challenge the competency findings. If he is determined to be unfit to stand trial, Garcia Zarate could be committed to a treatment facility until he is restored.

Outside the hearing, Serra told the San Francisco Examiner that Garcia Zarate wants him to step aside as his attorney.

Serra said Garcia Zarate "very forcefully" told him "he wants another lawyer and he wants me out."

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