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Old 12-03-2017   #31 (permalink)
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Location: St. Louis Park,Mn.
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Originally Posted by beam-eye View Post
What felonies? The 20-year-old misdemeanor marijuana charge was dropped prior to his release from county jail (it's why he was released), and recreational marijuana is now legal in California anyway, making illogical the prosecution of a minor charge (misdemeanor) that was once illegal but now isn't.

The jury correctly found that he did not commit either murder or negligent manslaughter by picking up a gun that was wrapped in cloth and thus unidentifiable as a firearm until it discharged when he picked it up because, not knowing that it was a gun, he mishandled the bundle causing the gun to fire accidentally (and ricochet into Kate Steinle).

His confusing conviction by the same jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm is on shaky ground since he wasn't aware the cloth-wrapped bundle was a gun until he mishandled the bundle causing the gun to fire - if he didn't know it was a firearm when he picked the bundle up he can't very well be charged with being in possession of a firearm that he didn't know existed until it accidentally fired when he mishandled the bundle when he innocently picked it up.
Did they convict him of the gun charge because they felt they needed to find him guilty of something?
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Old 12-04-2017   #32 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Originally Posted by Mnbruce View Post
Did they convict him of the gun charge because they felt they needed to find him guilty of something?
No, their verdict was based on his leaving the scene of the shooting and ditching the gun in the bay (Wikipedia: he was arrested about an hour after the shooting at Pier 40, about one mile south of Pier 14 and divers from The San Francisco Police Department Underwater Recovery Unit found the gun in the bay alongside Pier 14, the next day). He was therefore in possession of the gun from the time it fired until he dumped it in the bay instead of giving it to the cops. Making bad decisions while frightened is a common human error and potentially mitigating circumstance, but it is not an excuse for whatever act was done (in this case, the firing of the gun and death of Kate Steinle). The 'shaky ground' element is the determination of whether or not he was a felon at the time he was temporarily in possession of the gun after it was fired and until he dumped it. Returning to the US after being deported is (or may be, depending on the circumstances) a felony, and he had just been released after serving his prison sentence for that, making him a convicted felon in possession of a firearm during the time he unexpectedly found it until the time he dumped it in the bay. The determination of the facts in that sequence of events will likely be the key to further prosecution.
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Old 12-12-2017   #33 (permalink)
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Garcia Zarate was formally charged with first-degree murder and possession of illegal narcotics on July 6. Zarate admitted in a KGO-TV interview that he committed the shooting but said he found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench after taking sleeping pills he found from a trash can. He first claimed that he was aiming at sea lions, then that the gun had fired while he was picking up the wrapped package, and that Steinle's shooting was accidental.[26][20] He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was held on $5 million bail.[27] Zarate's attorney, Matt Gonzalez, stated in court that the shooting was likely accidental.[28]
In an interview with a local TV station, Zarate said that the gun went off accidentally three times when he picked it up; at trial, the prosecution contended that the shots were intentional.[20]

He sure has an eye for finding things... Was the gun fired 3 times? That's what I saw reported.

Last edited by Uno Mas; 12-12-2017 at 11:30 AM..
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