SAN FRANCISCO (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal judge in Texas has unsealed an arrest warrant for the Mexican man found not guilty of killing a woman on a San Francisco pier.
U.S. District Judge Alia Moses unsealed the warrant for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on Friday. It was issued in July 2015 after Garcia Zarate was arrested in the slaying of Kate Steinle days earlier on a San Francisco pier.
Garcia Zarate had been convicted in federal court of illegally re-entering the U.S. and was on supervised release at the time of Steinle’s slaying. Federal officials allege the Steinle shooting violated the terms of his supervision.
The Justice Department has said it will look at possible illegal re-entry and/or violation of supervised release charges against Garcia Zarate after jurors in San Francisco acquitted him of murder in Steinle’s shooting.
Garcia Zarate already had been deported five times when he was accused of killing Steinle as she walked with her father along a San Francisco pier. But a jury acquitted him of murder and manslaughter Thursday in a trial that has ignited the issue of illegal immigration for people in California and around the country.
Following the acquittal, defense attorney Matt Gonzalez condemned the way the case was politicized by President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“And they may themselves soon avail themselves of the presumption-of-innocence and beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard,” Gonzalez said. “And so I would ask them to reflect on that before they comment or disparage the result in this case.”
Trump then tweeted: “A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”
Trump spoke of the 32-year-old victim while campaigning for president last year.
Just before Steinle was shot in the back, Garcia Zarate was released from the San Francisco jail. But under its sanctuary-city policies, he was not turned over to immigration authorities.
In court, his defense argued he found the gun under a bench on the pier and fired accidentally.
As word of the verdict spread, a white supremacist group decorated a bench with red roses, candles and Kate’s picture — along with a poster and messages such as “Another reason we need a wall now” and “You’re not here because someone who wasn’t supposed to be was.”
Garcia Zarate was found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and is set to once again be deported.