Washington, United States | AFP | President Donald Trump on Friday stepped up his demands for a wall to stem illegal immigration from Mexico after an undocumented migrant was acquitted of murdering a woman in California — in a dramatic conclusion to a polarizing case.
“His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!” Trump said on Twitter.
Trump repeatedly cited the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle in July 2015 to make an incendiary case against illegal immigration during his 2016 campaign for the US presidency.
The 32-year-old Steinle was struck in the back by a bullet as she strolled on a pier in San Francisco with her father and a friend. She died in the hospital.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a felon who had been deported five times from US soil, admitted to firing the shot but said it was an accident.
Evidence presented at trial showed the bullet had ricocheted off a concrete piling before hitting Steinle.
On Thursday, after a five-week trial and six days of deliberation, a jury found Garcia not guilty of murder or assault with a firearm.
He was convicted only of being a felon in possession of a firearm, an offense punishable by 16 months to three years in prison.
Immigration authorities said they would work to deport Garcia, and on Friday, they issued a warrant for his arrest, stating that his conviction was a violation of his parole conditions for a previous arrest for illegally entering the country.
“A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration,” Trump tweeted late Thursday.
The president did not let the topic drop Friday, tweeting: “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.”
Speaking to CNN last year, Trump dubbed Garcia an “animal,” saying: “Mexico pushes back people across the border that are criminals, that are drug dealers.”
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!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
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