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A 'disgraceful verdict': Trump slams Mexican murder suspect's acquittal

Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump slammed the not-guilty verdict of a Mexican man who was on trial for murder.
  • The man was previously deported five times and served time in a federal prison.
  • Trump made the case a frequent talking point during his 2016 campaign.

President Donald Trump slammed the not guilty verdict of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a previously deported Mexican man who was accused of fatally shooting 32-year-old Kate Steinle at a San Francisco pier in 2015.

“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case!,” Trump tweeted Thursday evening. “No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration.”

The case sparked outrage among those who felt the US’s immigration policy was too lax, given that Zarate had been deported five times before, and had served time in a federal prison. The shooting also became a frequent talking point during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, which often emphasised the country’s need to build a US-Mexico border wall to slow down illegal entry to the US.

Zarate, who did not deny shooting Steinle, said that the gun accidentally fired as he was picking it up, according to the Associated Press. Defence attorney Matt Gonzalez argued that Zarate had no motivation to kill Steinle, and that it was an unfortunate incident.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has sought to penalise so-called sanctuary cities for not complying with federal requests to detain certain people who are in the US illegally, also slammed the verdict Thursday night: “I urge the leaders of the nation’s communities to reflect on the outcome of this case and consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers,” Sessions said.

Although Zarate was acquitted of murder charges, he was found guilty of felony possession of a firearm, the Associated Press said.

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