The attorney for a Mexican man accused of fatally shooting a woman on a San Francisco pier says his client is not criminally responsible because he did not know that the object he had in his hand was a gun.
Attorney Matt Gonzalez made the comments outside court before the start of the trial of a case that set off a national immigration debate.
54-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate has acknowledged shooting Kate Steinle in the back while she was walking with her father on the downtown San Francisco pier on July 1, 2015. Zarate has said he found the handgun under a bench and it accidentally fired.
Zarate was a convicted felon who'd been deported from the United States five times. Also, before the shooting, officials in San Francisco, which is a sanctuary city, had released him instead of turning him over to federal authorities.