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Man acquitted in Kate Steinle murder trial slapped with federal firearms charges

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Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is lead into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia for arraignment on July 7, 2015. (Michael Macor/2015 San Francisco Chronicle via Pool)
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The undocumented man acquitted of murder and manslaughter in the death of Kate Steinle will face additional charges in San Francisco federal court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

A federal grand jury indicted Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a 45-year-old Mexican national, on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being an undocumented immigrant in possession of a firearm.

Last Thursday, a jury in San Francisco Superior Court found Garcia Zarate not guilty of murder, manslaughter and assault charges, but convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Defense attorneys plan to appeal the conviction.

A San Francisco jury found that Garcia Zarate had a gun on him when Steinle was shot at Pier 14 on July 1, 2015.

The federal charges, filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, stem from a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigation. Either charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence.

Garcia Zarate will face the charges after his sentencing in state court, where his next court date is Dec. 14.

Garcia Zarate also has an allegation against him in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas for violating his supervised release from prison in 2015 following a sentence for illegal reentry into the U.S.

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