San Francisco prosecutor defends handling of Steinle trial

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco's district attorney is defending the handling of a murder trial that ended with the acquittal of a Mexican man whose arrest set off a fierce national debate on immigration.

Posted: Dec. 5, 2017 4:12 PM
Updated: Dec. 5, 2017 4:12 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco's district attorney is defending the handling of a murder trial that ended with the acquittal of a Mexican man whose arrest set off a fierce national debate on immigration.

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District Attorney George Gascon said Tuesday that he still believes Jose Ines Garcia Zarate should have been convicted of murder in the 2015 death of Kate Steinle.

A jury rejected that charge last week and convicted Garcia Zarate only of being a felon in possession of a gun.

Legal experts say prosecutors overreached by asking for a first-degree murder conviction because the fatal shot ricocheted off the ground, supporting Garcia Zarate's defense that the shooting was an accident.

Gascon also called President Trump a "madman" for a series of tweets deriding the verdict.

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