UPDATED 11:25 AM PT – Tuesday, June 7, 2022
A federal judge sentenced the illegal immigrant acquitted in the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle to time already served for federal firearms charges.
Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate was sentenced Monday to the seven years he already spent in jail after he pleaded guilty to being an illegal felon in possession of a firearm. Garcia-Zarate was acquitted of homicide charges in 2017.
He claimed he found a gun wrapped in a t-shirt and it accidentally fired when he picked it up, fatally striking Steinle on a San Francisco pier.
Garcia-Zarate had been deported five times and was in the process of being removed from the US before the incident.
“If you return to this country again and you are back in front of me, I will not spare you,” said Judge Chabria. “Let this be your last warning, do not return to this country.”
He will now be transported to Texas to face charges for failing to report his location to immigration officials in a separate case.