Judge Rules that TV Interview with Suspect in Kate Steinle Killing Can’t be Used at Trial

Vivian Ho, SF Gate, September 25, 2017

Kate Steinle

Kate Steinle

A San Francisco Superior Court judge on Monday barred the trial use of the only public interview with the man accused of killing Kate Steinle.

In the widely viewed KGO-TV jailhouse interview, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate admitted to firing a gun he says he found wrapped in a T-shirt — an act that resulted in the death of Steinle, 32, when the bullet pierced her heart as she strolled with her father on Pier 14 on July 1, 2015.

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Judge Samuel K. Feng’s ruling on the taped interview came during a pretrial hearing, where he also decided to allow Zarate’s police statements to be entered as evidence. The trial is set to begin in mid- October.

Feng did not explain his reasoning.

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“The judge himself said he watched it on YouTube,” Gonzalez said.

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The case sparked a push against immigration and the sanctuary policies that enabled his release. The House of Representatives passed “Kate’s Law” in June, legislation that would significantly boost punishment for people who repeatedly enter the U.S. illegally.

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