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A Jury Has Found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate Not Guilty Of Murder In The Death Of Kate Steinle

Pool / Getty Images

The undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was charged with the fatal shooting of a young woman in San Francisco has been acquitted of murder, manslaughter and assault with a firearm by a jury.

On July 1, 2015, 29-year-old Kate Steinle was killed by a gunshot while walking on Pier 41 in San Francisco with her father and a friend. The bullet struck her in the back.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, 45, was accused of the deadly shooting, and after a five-week trial and six days of deliberation was only found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

While Zarate never denied that he fired the gun, he maintained that the death of Steinle was a result of an accidental discharge. He claimed to have found the gun wrapped in cloth, and when he picked it up to inspect it, the weapon went off. According to The New York Times, evidence that exonerated Zarate proved that he did not fire at Steinle directly. Rather, the bullet ricocheted off of an object before striking Steinle, establishing there was no intent to murder.

The case became a major point of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigration platform, who used Steinle’s death as reasoning to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“For anyone that would question the outcome in this case, this jury was deliberating for six days,” Jeff Adachi, the San Francisco public defender, told The New York Times. “There was a tremendous amount of misinformation that was spread about this case from Day 1. You had then-candidate Trump espousing that this was an intentional shooting.”

According to CNN, Zarate’s attorney, Matt Gonzalez, claimed that Zarate found the gun at the pier wrapped in a cloth. It was when he unwrapped the gun that it fired the bullet that hit Steinle.

President Trump took to Twitter when the verdict was delivered, calling it “disgraceful” and using the decision to renew his call for a border wall.

While a sentencing date has not been established, Zarate’s conviction comes with a maximum sentence of three years in prison. He has served more than two years while awaiting trial, though it’s unclear as of yet if that time will be credited to his sentence. CNN reports that Zarate will be deported to Mexico either before of after his sentencing.

(H/T: The New York Times, CNN)

READ: Activists In San Francisco And Los Angeles Stop Traffic To Protest Immigration Raids

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From Rita Moreno To Becky G, Gloria Estefan's Instagram Was Lit During The Kennedy Center Honors

Things That Matter

From Rita Moreno To Becky G, Gloria Estefan’s Instagram Was Lit During The Kennedy Center Honors

@kencen/ Twitter

The annual Kennedy Center Honors were held over the weekend and Gloria Estefan was both an honoree and a lowkey correspondent, using her social media game to give fans the behind the scenes scoop.

Held, as is customary, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Estefan, along with dancer Carmen de Lavallade, rapper LL Cool J, legendary television producer Norman Lear and singer Lionel Richie, were honored for their lifetime achievements in the creative fields.

In the 40 years of the Kennedy Center Honors, there have only been three previous occasions where a sitting president has not attended. This year marks the fourth. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump skipped the event, with the administration stating they would not be attending “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”

It seems likely Trump didn’t attend as protest to both Lear and de Lavallade, who said they would boycott the customary White House reception that the Trumps would have attended. Estefan would have surely also upset the president, saying she relished the opportunity to tell Trump in person what she thought about him and his anti-immigration policies.

Still, with all of those unpleasant undertones, everyone managed to have a good time. And Estefan managed to share it all across her social media accounts.

The Kennedy Center Honorees this year included LL Cool J, the first hip-hop artist ever honored with this prestigious recognition.

Estefan shared the touching moment when the legendary Rita Moreno, herself a 2015 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor, presented her at the event.

She also shared part of her own speech, in which she spoke about the “amazing tapestry” of U.S. diversity.

The Kennedy Center quoted a piece of her speech on their Twitter account, getting in on the social media action.

After the honorees all spoke, it was time to party with the other celebrities in the room.

On her way to the gala, Estefan refused to sit on the bus so as not to wrinkle her dress. Like a true boss.

Her homie Becky G was in attendance at the gala as well.

Estefan also showed us she was still down to lead the conga.

“After the show there’s an after party.” Damn, Gloria! Get it!

The sweetest social media moment had to be this hug Estefan shared with her daughter after the performance.

You’ll have to wait a few weeks to see the full event, which will air December 26 on CBS. But if you followed Estefan, it felt like you were there.

READ: Gloria Estefan’s Daughter Is A Chip Off The Old Block

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