An illegal immigrant accused of shooting Kate Steinle to death on pier in the sanctuary city of San Franciscois found not guilty of murder or manslaughter.
Zarate had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation at the time of Steinle's death.
Defense attorneys have told jurors that Garcia Zarate lived on the streets of San Francisco after being released from jail, scraping together a living by collecting recyclables and scavenging for food.
Speaking after the verdict, Garcia Zarate's chief defense attorney, Matt Gonzalez, noted not only Sessions' previous comments on the case but also sharply warned Trump and others in his administration against commenting on the outcome, equating the case to the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russians. "I believe today is a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants". Much of the testimony during the trial has focused on ballistics experts. Prosecutors said he meant to shoot and kill her.
Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend on a sunny day in July 2015 when she was shot, collapsing into her father's arms.
He was convicted on the lesser charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Prosecutors said Garcia Zarate immediately tried to cover his tracks by throwing the gun into the San Francisco Bay, then fleeing the scene.
"The jury came back with the verdict they did, and we will respect that decision. They showed incredible resolve during this whole process".
The Steinle family did not attend court to hear the verdict.
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 USA immigration enforcement policies, on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 21, 2015.
"He did kill someone. He took the life of a young, vibrant, beautiful, cherished woman by the name of Kate Steinle", she said. Garcia Zarate didn't deny shooting Steinle and said it was an accident.
Several months after Steinle's death, Trump claimed that she had been shot five times.
USA immigration officials say they will deport a Mexican man acquitted of murder in the shooting of woman on a San Francisco pier that touched off a fierce debate over immigration. The city has been plagued by an epidemic of vehicle burglaries in recent years.
Garcia Zarate was accused of fatally shooting Steinle, 32, with a Sig Sauer.40-caliber handgun as she and her father walked on San Francisco's Pier 14.
Hannity noted that Zarate had been released from a San Francisco jail about three months before the shooting, despite a federal request that he be held for deportation.
Steinle's death became a rallying cry for President Donald Trump and others, who have invoked the case in decrying sanctuary cities and promoting the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Trump signed an executive order to withhold funding from sanctuary cities, but a federal judge recently blocked it in a lawsuit from two California counties, San Francisco and Santa Clara.
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