San Francisco, CA – The five-time deported illegal immigrant who fatally shot 32-year-old Kate Steinle at the San Francisco pier, but was acquitted in her death, has filed a motion accusing the federal government of “vindictive prosecution and collusion.”
He alleges that the federal weapons charges pending against him violates due process laws, according to court paperwork.
President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were specifically named in the motion, which was filed in the Northern District of California U.S. District Court on Tuesday, according to FOX News.
Steinle was fatally shot in the back by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate in July of 2015, as she walked down Pier 14 with her father.
The .40 caliber bullet ripped through her abdominal aorta.
A jury found Jose Ines Garcia Zarate guilty of one count of felony possession of a firearm, but acquitted him for the murder or involuntary manslaughter of Steinle, even though he admitted to firing the fatal shot.
They didn’t even convict him of assault with a deadly weapon, FOX News reported.
In January, he was sentenced to three years in prison on the weapon charge, but walked free after receiving credit for time served prior to the imposition of the sentence.
Shortly after he got away with murder, federal prosecutors charged Garcia Zarate for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and for being “an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States in possession of a firearm,” FOX News reported.
He pleaded not guilty on Feb. 13, and his legal team asserted that those charges should be dismissed.
According to the illegal immigrant’s attorneys, the federal weapons charges filed against Garcia Zarate violated “the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and violates Double Jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment because of ongoing collusion between the State of California and the federal government,” the motion read.
“The true federal interest in pursuing this prosecution is to punish and make an example out of Mr. Garcia-Zarate for his high-profile acquittal in state court,” the court document continued. “This prosecution seeks to demonstrate to any high-profile defendant, especially one that is an undocumented immigrant, that their successful exercise of due process rights will not be respected and will result in the heavy hammer of a federal prosecution.”
Garcia Zarate’s attorneys claimed that President Trump used the case in an attempt to advance his administration’s agenda.
“Almost immediately after the death of Ms. Steinle, then presidential candidate Donald Trump began to use Mr. Garcia-Zarate as the symbol of the dangers of illegal immigrants and the need for a wall between the United States and Mexico,” the court paperwork read.
After Garcia Zarate was acquitted, the President “maligned the verdict” in Twitter posts, the legal team said.
“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration,” President Trump wrote, according to the motion.
“The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!” another presidential comment read.
“The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections,” President Trump’s final Twitter post noted.
Garcia Zarate’s attorneys then turned their attention to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who publicly decried the sanctuary city’s protection of illegal immigrants.
“While the State of California sought a murder charge for the man who caused Ms. Steinle’s death — a man who would not have been on the streets of San Francisco if the city simply honored an ICE detainer — the people ultimately convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm,” Sessions said, according to the motion.
ICE had attempted to hold Garcia Zarate for deportation prior to Steinle’s murder, but the request to detain was denied, due to San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” laws, FOX News reported.
“When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public’s safety at risk,” Sessions said, according to the motion. “San Francisco’s decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”
The motion demanded that the court order the federal government to hand over evidence regarding all of their communications with law enforcement, which they claimed would prove that Garcia Zarate was the victim of “collusion.”
“Through counsel, Mr. Garcia-Zarate intends to bring motions to dismiss this prosecution on those grounds,” the motion read.