The five-time-deported criminal alien convicted two years ago for being in illegal possession of a firearm — the same firearm that killed San Francisco resident Kate Steinle — has filed an appeal.
According to attorney Cliff Gardner, his client José Inez García Zárate’s three year sentence should be overturned because the “momentary possession” of a firearm is not a crime.
Zárate has long maintained that the events that transpired on July 1, 2015, and that led to Steinle’s tragic death, were part of an unintentional accident for which he deserves no punishment.
He’s claimed that while he was sitting on the beach at San Francisco’s Pier 14, he suddenly observed an unidentifiable object wrapped in cloth. That object was a gun, and when he unknowingly picked it up, the gun “accidentally” went off and hit 32-year-old Steinle, killing her.
A jury bought this dubious narrative hook, line and sinker, choosing on Nov. 30, 2017, to acquit Zárate of Steinle’s murder but ding him with an illegal possession charge.
The acquittal sparked mass outrage at the time:
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
So…. What you’re saying is there’s no justice for actual Americans! Murderous illegal aliens can be here and kill folks with impunity now. https://t.co/74OTexyiUg
— Shawn (@ShawnLivingLife) December 1, 2017
This is a bullshit verdict. https://t.co/M2mCmB3tTG
— ?Erin ? (@MsErinMurray) December 1, 2017
I am literally at a loss for words over how this was not at least manslaughter. https://t.co/KMf695BDrr
— Amy Swearer (@AmySwearer) December 1, 2017
— Eager Beaver (@_eager_beaver) December 1, 2017
Mind boggling, he admitted he was holding the gun when it fired “accidentally”. Definition of manslaughter. SF jury must be trying to send message to Trump instead of doing job https://t.co/nydgG17uHJ
— Rub NSFW (@rubguy) December 1, 2017
Not even involuntary manslaughter??? You get involuntary manslaughter for hitting someone with a car. Shooting someone is apparently not a crime. Sad, sad, sad… https://t.co/TskN42usuV
— John Slocum (@PhillySlocs) December 1, 2017
Zárate now seeks to have even the significantly lesser illegal possession charge overturned because, in his mind, even this relatively minor conviction reeks of “vindictive prosecution.”
How so? Because the judge who presided over his trial, Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng, allegedly never told the jury that “accidentally” picking up a gun isn’t technically a crime.
“Because Superior Court Judge Samuel Feng refused to instruct the jury that ‘momentary possession’ of a gun is not a crime, the jury had no choice but to convict Garcia Zárate of illegal firearms possession by a previously convicted felon, Gardner said,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“Gardner said the judge should have instructed the jury, as the defense requested, that Garcia Zárate was not guilty if he had possessed the gun ‘for a momentary or transitory period,’ solely to dispose of it, and had not intended to prevent police from seizing it.”
Given his prior acquittel, Zárate could conceivably win this appeal as well.
Social media users still exasperated by Zárate’s original acquitted were left in shock by his attorney’s latest announcement. To them it feels like a repeat of 2017.
CA legal system is failing victims. Why didnt the court allow his criminal history? “Momentary possession” of a firearm is a crime! That “moment” ended her life.
Illegal immigrant found not guilty in Kate Steinle’s killing wants gun conviction droppedhttps://t.co/s8kWrThZqi
— @ruby_slippers (@BethShe43970710) January 16, 2019
What do you want to bet this killer goes free, the justice system in California does not exist, criminals have all the rights in that state #BuildOurWallNOW
Illegal immigrant found not guilty in Kate Steinle’s killing wants gun conviction droppedhttps://t.co/htRFdiLgLN
— Bob?I Follow Back True Patriots ?? (@BobBrinson1) January 16, 2019
Illegal immigrant found not guilty in Kate Steinle’s killing wants gun conviction droppedhttps://t.co/iZdtdczPiO. Jesus fuq our courts are so assbackwards. How is this guy still walking around ?
— Jeff Spikkolê (@spikkole) January 16, 2019
California laws are ridiculous. What a shame if the illegal immigrant wasn’t in the USA he would never have been with a gun that went off & killed a citizen
— Beth (@Believe200866) January 16, 2019
Illegal immigrant found not guilty in Kate Steinle’s killing wants gun conviction dropped?? Why so he can steal anither gun & shoot someone else?He should have been hung! On the border preferably! https://t.co/igviAT6ggH #FoxNews
— Liberty Forme (@liberty_forme) January 16, 2019
Illegal immigrant found not guilty in Kate Steinle’s killing wants gun conviction dropped.
Way to go California! Just turn him loose so he can kill another innocent American!https://t.co/WHaKTvquGK
— R. shields (@RogerDShields2) January 16, 2019
After liberal #California Judge and jury in @SpeakerPelosi district found ILLEGAL ALIEN not guilty in Kate Steinle’s murder he now wants gun conviction charge dropped!#DemocratsHateAmerica#DemocratsHateAmericans#BuildTheWallhttps://t.co/boxg3HYXH9
— keith (@americankeith) January 16, 2019
Illegal immigrant found not guilty in young Kate Steinle’s shot dead walking with her father in KAMALA’s territory wants gun conviction dropped
FELON multiple border jumper Kamala Harris said “Why dwell on it”https://t.co/onZEaUFGqx
— mhdude1 (@Mhdude1Mhdude1) January 16, 2019
— Hilda Curtis (@curtishilda) January 16, 2019
Were Zárate deported, as one Twitter user suggested should happen, chances are high he’d just sidle back across the unsecured southern U.S. border and again rush to a “sanctuary city” like San Francisco, where he’d be safe to live and “accidentally” pick up a gun.
The border remains unsecured because of obstruction by congressional Democrats, who refuse to fund a wall sought by the president that officials with both U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have confirmed could stop most illegal immigration.
San Francisco, the California town where Steinle died and where Zárate had resided peacefully prior to the events of July 1, 2015, is itself a Democrat-controlled city.
There may however still be some hope for those who seek justice. Last year federal authorities reportedly announced they intended to take him into custody to face two new charges in federal court.
If convicted on those new charges, he’ll reportedly face an additional ten years in prison. It’s unclear whether federal authorities ever apprehended him.
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