Trump tweet slams 'disgraceful' Kate Steinle verdict

Marchers In Dallas Protest Proposed Immigration Reform

Garcia Zarate, a Mexican man who was in the United States illegally, shot Steinle on a San Francisco pier in 2015.

Garcia Zarate has prior convictions for a drug charge and for re-entering the country after deportation.

A photo of murder victim Kate Steinle, right, is placed on an easel as her father Jim Steinle (second from left) prepares to testify about her murder during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on US immigration enforcement policies, on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 21, 2015.

While the jurors didn't hear evidence regarding Zarate's immigration status, the shooting came roughly three months after a San Francisco jail released him despite federal immigration authorities' request he remain detained before his deportation. [The] Assistant District Attorney [-] spent much of the trial seeking to prove the gun that killed Steinle couldn't have fired without a firm pull of the trigger, while establishing that Garcia Zarate tossed the weapon into the bay before fleeing the scene - an implication of his guilt, she said. "It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others", defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict.

But one of the defendant's lawyers said the debate over immigration didn't belong in the case.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has threatened to cut off Justice Department funding to sanctuary cities, on Thursday condemned the jury's decision.

EMSLIE: Yeah. So they found not guilty on nearly all of the charges that the defendant faced with the single exception of being a felon in possession of a handgun. Prosecutors said he meant to shoot and kill her.

Garcia Zarate said he found the stolen gun wrapped in a shirt under a chair on a pedestrian pier and that the weapon accidentally fired when he picked it up.

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Trump has said that Steinle's death, just two weeks after he launched his presidential campaign, is emblematic of the problems in the US immigration system, particularly the continued existence of sanctuary cities where local officials refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

That charge was dismissed by San Francisco prosecutors after he arrived.

In his opening monologue tonight, Sean Hannity said sanctuary city laws and policies killed Kate Steinle.

Languishing in seventh behind his Republican competitors at the time, just two weeks into his campaign, Trump used Garcia Zarate's past-he had been deported from the USA five times and had seven felony convictions, including drug charges-as proof of his campaign's anti-immigrant operating thesis. Steinle, a medical equipment saleswoman, was out for a July afternoon walk with her dad on San Francisco's Pier 14 when she was struck in the back by a single bullet.

Trump also mentioned Steinle in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention after winning the Republican presidential nomination.

"Donald Trump talks about Kate Steinle like he knows her".

The measure was introduced in the Senate but failed to get the 60 votes needed to pass.

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