Alien acquitted in Steinle shooting wants new trial on gun possession charge
By Chris Eger
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, seen above in an undated booking photo, was acquitted of murder charges by a California jury in a state court last month but is facing sentencing on a weapons violation. (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)
Defense lawyers for Mexican national Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on Thursday moved to throw out his gun possession conviction, which, if successful, would free him from prison.
Garcia Zarate’s legal team is contesting his conviction on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, which carries up to three years in prison under California law, The Mercury News reported. His attorneys argue the judge did not allow the jury in his trial last month to consider a claim that the man, with at least seven felonies and five deportations under his belt, didn’t realize he was holding a gun until it fired.
The handgun which killed Kate Steinle in July 2015 was stolen from a federal agent and found by Garcia Zarate under the bench of a pier wrapped in a shirt. His attorneys argued he did not know it was a gun when he picked it up and threw it in the Bay after it fired. Ballistics experts in the