The unlawful immigrant who shot and killed Kate Steinle in 2015 will go on trial for second-degree homicide this week, bringing a conclusion to a case that sparked harsh anti-immigration rhetoric from President Donald Trump and Congress in 2016.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 54, claims his killing of Steinle was an accident, saying handgun wrapped in a T-shirt went off as he was making an attempt to extract it, ABC News reported Monday.

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Zarate had been deported from the U.S. 5 instances, a truth which triggered then-candidate Trump to name the incident a failure of California’s weak immigration coverage. The capturing additionally sparked “Kate’s Law,” which might create a extra stringent coverage on unlawful immigrant crime.

“He didn’t understand it was a gun when it fired,” protection legal professional Matt Gonzalez stated. “It all occurs in a span of three seconds.”

The firearm in query belonged to a Bureau of Land Management ranger who had reported it stolen only a week earlier than the capturing. Zarate holds that he noticed a bundle of clothes below a bench on the San Francisco pier and picked it up with out figuring out there was a gun inside, apparently inflicting the gun to go off.

A ballistics investigation into the capturing revealed that the bullet ricocheted earlier than hitting Steinle, lending credence to Zarate’s claims. Prosecutors, nevertheless, argue Zarate knew there was a gun contained in the bundle and recklessly pointed it at folks on the pier when it went off, and a police inspector testified in a preliminary listening to that the trajectory of the ricochet indicated the gun had been aimed toward Steinle.

The immigration debate centered on San Francisco’s refusal to show Zarate over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement brokers throughout one in all his earlier detainments for getting into the nation illegally. Trump derided town’s sanctuary insurance policies, a nail which Attorney General Jeff Sessions has continued to pound since his appointment.

Zarate will withstand 15 years in jail if convicted.

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