On Thursday, a San Francisco jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a previously convicted felon, who was deported several times, and in the country illegally, not guilty of killing Kate Steinle in 2015.
The verdict sent shockwaves across the nation.
Fox News reports he may not be out of legal trouble as the Department of Justice could bring federal charges against him.
Per the report:
U.S. immigration officials had said they would deport Garcia Zarate – also known as Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez — who already had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when Steinle was fatally shot in the back while walking with her father.
The undocumented felon could spend three years in prison for the firearm charge but has already been behind bars for over two years as the case has made its way through court.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores acknowledged Friday that the DOJ is looking at federal charges. She suggested a possible charge could be felony re-entry or a charge pertaining to a violation of supervised release.
Flores said the Justice Department is considering “every option”:
“We’re looking at every option and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent of the law because these cases are tragic and entirely preventable,” Flores said on “Fox & Friends” Friday.
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“This is a person who had been deported five times—he knew about San Francisco’s sanctuary policies. This is a person that never should have been on that pier, and Kate Steinle would still be alive,” she said.
Department of Justice head, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, initially commented on the verdict:
“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk. San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle,” he 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.”
Without making mention of any additional charges, he said the DOJ “will continue to ensure that all jurisdictions place the safety and security of their communities above the convenience of criminal aliens.”