Garcia Zarate, a Mexican national, has been behind bars since his 2015 arrest, so his sentence has been completed after factoring in credits, Bastian said. While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle's death-a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer-the people ultimately convicted him of felon in possession of a firearm. Garcia Zarate will now be taken into federal custody, but it's not clear when he will be transferred. Garcia Zarate has now been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating state immigration and gun laws because he possessed a semi-automatic firearm.
Friday, the judge also denied Garcia Zarate's motion for a new trial, said Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the San Francisco district attorney's office.
Immigration agents have vowed to eventually deport Garcia Zarate, who first came to the United States as a juvenile and was deported multiple times.
During the presidential campaign, President Trump pointed at Steinle's death as a reason to build a wall along the Mexican border and tighten immigration policies. Before Steinle's death, a San Francisco jail released him instead of handing him over to immigration authorities for deportation, Mercury News reported. San Francisco's "sanctuary city" policy bars local officials from helping US immigration authorities in deportation matters unless they have a warrant.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for "serious case of amnesia" after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE called the jury's not guilty verdict "disgraceful" in a tweet in November. The maximum sentence for his gun possession conviction was three years-of which he had already served beyond that. "He is also grateful to Tony Serra for taking his case", said Matt Gonzalez, chief attorney of the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.
Garcia Zarate said he was sitting on a city pier when he found and picked up a gun wrapped in rags. His defense attorney claimed the shooting was accidental and the bullet ricocheted off the ground and traveled about 80 feet before hitting Steinle.
"This is rarely done" after a defendant is acquitted on the same charge in a state court, Adachi said.