Kate Steinle case that led to debate over US sanctuary cities, Trumps call for wall is under way in court

Kate Steinle’ s murder fueled nationwide outrage and became a flashpoint in the divisive debate over the dual issues of illegal immigration plus U. S. sanctuary cities, and today her accused killer is getting their day in court.

A destitute illegal immigrant from Mexico will be charged with the slaying which grew to become a signature issue for Jesse Trump as he was running intended for president. Trump invoked the killing in calling for the construction of the wall on the Mexican border plus stepping up deportations and cracking upon illegal immigration.

The 32-year-old woman plus her father James Steinle had been strolling on San Francisco’s Embarcadero on July 1, 2015 whenever she was shot.

“ Help me, father, ” she said before the girl died.

Two days after Steinle was chance, Trump released a tough statement at the killing.

“This senseless and totally avoidable act of violence committed simply by an illegal immigrant is yet another sort of why we must secure our boundary immediately, ” he said.

“This is definitely an absolutely disgraceful situation, and I are the only one that can fix it. Nobody otherwise has the guts to even discuss it. That won’t happen if I turn out to be president. ”

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate   (Vicki Behringer)

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, fifty four, admits shooting Steinle but states it was an accident.

A jury of 6 men and six women began listening to arguments Monday in the courtroom associated with Judge Samuel Feng.

“ This is the weapon fired at a young woman called Kathryn Steinle on pier fourteen, ” prosecutor Diana Garcia informed the jury in her starting statement.

She pointed to Zarate, plus said, “ She’ s deceased because this man pointed a gun within her direction and pulled the particular trigger. ”

Garcia said the prosecution’ s evidence includes surveillance video clip from a fire station that displays Steinle falling to the ground plus a splash from when Zarate put the gun in the water.

She came to the conclusion by telling the jury whenever they see the video, hear the defendant’ s words, hear from witnesses and hear more about the weapon, they will conclude that Zarate understood what he was doing which “ he meant to shoot individuals on pier 14 and wound up killing Kate Steinle. ”

Defense lawyer Matt Gonzalez said during their opening statement that his customer hadn’t stolen the gun, but instead found it on the pier, and yes it went off as he unwrapped the particular T-shirt.

He demonstrated the jury surveillance video, trying to prove that someone else could have still left the gun where Zarate had been sitting and argued that Zarate threw the gun in the drinking water to make it stop firing.

Gonzalez portrayed Zarate as a homeless man who failed to speak English well and did not really understand what was going on. The particular attorney showed video from Zarate’s initial police interview in which he or she repeatedly said he didn’t understand why he shot Steinle plus why he was aiming in this area.

But the prosecution said when Zarate was interviewed by detectives he or she first said the gun proceeded to go off when he stepped onto it, and then said it was wrapped upward in a bag and that it for some reason went off. Garcia said that ultimately he admitted to deliberately shooting the gun, but without detailing why, except at some point to say this individual was aiming at a seal.

The protection attorney told the jury there has “never been a ricochet charge as a murder in San Francisco” and that an expert “couldn’t get this to shot if he tried. inch

Gonzalez concluded by saying, “If this particular had happened to a college child or a Swedish tourist – when they had accidentally fired a gun — would they be charged along with murder? ”

The jury also noticed from Jim Steinle, who was together with his daughter on the pier when the lady was shot.

In a brief but psychological testimony, Jim described his shut relationship with his daughter and their particular love of taking selfies jointly, one of which was taken moments prior to the shooting.

He cried on the stand when he recounted the details of his little girl’s death. Jim said after the lady was shot and fell towards the ground, “she looked at me along with her arms out and stated, ‘help me dad’… and I snapped up her and held her. inch

Zarate had a criminal record and had been deported several times at the time of the shooting.

Just before the particular shooting, he had been transferred to the particular San Francisco County Jail after offering a prison sentence for unlawful reentry.

He was being held on a 20-year-old marijuana charge that prosecutors terminated.

The particular San Francisco sheriff then released Zarate from jail despite a federal migration request to detain him regarding at least two more days just for deportation. The sheriff’s department stated it was following the city’s sanctuary plan of limited cooperation with government immigration authorities.

San Francisco, as a sanctuary town, honors immigration holds only if the individual has a violent record or in case a judge vetted the hold or even approved a warrant.

At the time of the Steinle shooting, Trump was trailing the majority of the field running for the GOP president nomination.

Two weeks later after issuing their statement he was in first place.

As leader, Trump has threatened to hold back federal funding to so-called haven cities such as San Francisco. The danger has been met with lawsuits to prevent the president from moving forward.

The weapon Zarate fired had been stolen through the car of a Bureau of Property Management ranger several days prior to the shooting.

The trial is expected to final four to six weeks.

Fox News’ Jennifer Girdon in San Francisco and The Related Press contributed to this report.