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)

Defense to call first witness in Kate Steinle murder trial

The defense for an undocumented immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle is expected to call its first witness Monday in the murder trial that ignited a nationwide immigration debate.

Matt Gonzalez, an attorney for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, told reporters last week that he would call as many as seven witnesses to the stand, including experts in firearms and video surveillance.

SEE RELATED: Prosecution rests case against undocumented man in Kate Steinle trial

SEE RELATED: Jurors hear confession of Kate Steinle’s alleged killer for first time

SEE RELATED: Gun in Kate Steinle killing designed to prevent accidental discharges, expert testifies

SEE RELATED: Inspector describes finding evidence of ricocheted bullet in Steinle case

SEE RELATED: Federal agent describes car break-in that led to the killing of Kate Steinle with stolen duty weapon

SEE RELATED: Defense attorney pins Kate Steinle killing on ‘freakish ricochet,’ prosecutor claims shooting was intentional

SEE RELATED: Witnesses describe ‘odd’ behavior of Kate Steinle’s alleged killer moments after shooting

SEE RELATED: Prosecutors show grainy footage of Kate Steinle’s killing on SF pier

Garcia Zarate is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Steinle on July 1, 2015 on Pier 14. The case hinges on whether the shooting was intentional or an accident.

President Donald Trump has used the killing to call for a crackdown on sanctuary cities.

Garcia Zarate is an undocumented Mexican citizen who San Francisco released from jail before the shooting instead of handing him over to immigration authorities for deportation.

The prosecution rested its case Thursday after two weeks of testimony. The prosecution and defense have both left politics out of the trial.

Prosecutor Diana Garcia called a retired police investigator who testified that Garcia Zarate shot the gun in Steinle’s direction before it ricocheted in a straight line and struck her.

Gonzalez has said that a firearms expert he calls will testify that the bullet could have bounced sideways in her direction when it ricocheted.

Garcia also showed jurors surveillance footage taken from a quarter mile away of Steinle falling on the pier when she was shot.

Gonzalez has said that the surveillance footage also shows a group of people standing on the pier before Garcia Zarate arrives. He claims that Garcia Zarate found the gun on the pier, and that the people could have left the gun there.

Gonzalez is expected to call a witness who analyzed the footage.

Untitled-1

Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
Crime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Riders should expect big changes when Muni rail returns in August

Reconfigured routes will mean fewer, longer trains through tunnel

Californians to vote on restoring voting rights of parolees

If passed, Proposition 17 would amend the California Constitution and allow parolees to vote

New audio of couple calling police on SF man bolsters racial bias claims, supe says

Pacific Heights incident spurred CAREN Act to outlaw discriminatory reports to police

SFUSD students may start the school year at home

Staff report recommends starting with distance learning in the fall, transitioning to hybrid model

Universities fight new immigration restrictions on international students in court

Local colleges are scrambling to keep international students in the country as… Continue reading

Most Read