Patterico's Pontifications


Feds Indict Kate Steinle’s Killer

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:00 pm

At the end of my recent post on the California laws the jury applied in the Kate Steinle murder case, I noted this observation by Andrew C. McCarthy:

McCarthy’s exact prediction has come to pass:

A federal grand jury has indicted a Mexican man on immigration and weapons charges after he was acquitted of murder in the 2015 shooting death of Kathryn Steinle, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Each of the two new federal charges carries a maximum of 10 years in prison if Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is convicted, the government said. He was indicted on one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Here is a screenshot from the indictment. Note that the statute, 18 U.S.C. 922(g), is the precise one mentioned by McCarthy:

This is not double jeopardy, principally because the federal government is a separate sovereign, and double jeopardy applies only to charges from the same sovereign.

Ken White of Popehat, a former federal prosecutor, routinely warns against putting any stock in news media statements about the amount of time a federal defendant is “facing.” Actual sentences are based on a complicated set of guidelines, taking into account a person’s record, their cooperation, remorse, and a host of other factors. So don’t get the idea that Zarate will necessarily get 10 years.

Still, this is a positive development in an otherwise very sad saga.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

70 Responses to “Feds Indict Kate Steinle’s Killer”

  1. A sliver of peace for the Steinle family. At least someone is sticking up for them.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  2. As with our esteemed former SoS, HRC, dude didn’t meeeeeeeannnn to break a law. He was just curious.

    You could say he was triggered by seeing a trigger.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  3. I want to vomit, that it took this long to convict this guy of something.

    Oh by the way. BART won’t put cameras on their trains as that might unfairly “stigmify ” the “youths” that go “wilding” on their trains.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  4. Maybe I’m a coward, but not even at my best could I take on 30 adolescents boarding at the Fruitvale BART station.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  5. My bad.

    They’ll put cameras on the trains.

    BART Withholding Surveillance Videos Of Crime To Avoid ‘Stereotypes’

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  6. Thank you for this post.

    NJRob (b00189)

  7. Maybe I’m a coward, but not even at my best could I take on 30 adolescents boarding at the Fruitvale BART station.

    Steve57 (0b1dac) — 12/5/2017 @ 9:32 pm

    Unless you Bernie Goetz them, you haven’t a chance. They’re carry weapons.

    NJRob (b00189)

  8. carrying*

    NJRob (b00189)

  9. So whatever his sentence followed by I’m assuming deportation + 6 mos and he’ll be back in Frisco looking for his next victims.

    And the moonbats are actually proud that the city defied the feds.

    They better re-start that stealth program where they put them on a one-way trip to Barstow.

    harkin (e12c28)

  10. Attached to the paperwork should an estimate of cost per day to taxpayers. It’s that tally which would hold attention. Next time you see a homeless person along a street on chilly, rainy night, think about the “injustice” w/this fella warm, showered, fed w/a bed and access to medical care awaiting “justice.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. This crimaliens past proves the sob should have been executed by now.

    mg (60b0f7)

  12. @3 Steve57

    That’s where Worldstar! comes in handy.

    Pinandpuller (c15a71)

  13. He’ll probably get nothing if convicted. Not on top of the state sentence for the same offense, for which he has served or mostly served the time, and the three years for violating his early release, again for the same offense, should the District of West Texas follow up on it. Moreover, the court will be cognizant that it has been the practice of the federal authorities to refer felons in possession whom they arrest to the state courts for prosecution, and that this departure from policy smacks of vindictiveness and politics.

    nk (dbc370)

  14. @4 Steve57

    Your trigger discipline is as good as ever. Fix bayonets and take out the trash.

    Pinandpuller (41f9f5)

  15. I want you on that train.

    I need you on that train.

    Aaron Sorkin needs you to bring him two kilos of flake on that train. Do you have change for a hundred?

    Pinandpuller (41f9f5)

  16. Is he in possession of it if here merely picked up something wrapped in a t-shirt and it went off accidentally? It may only be transitory possession. Not guilty.

    AZ Bob (f60c80)

  17. One jury already found him guilty of it.

    nk (dbc370)


    Steyn: Media annoyed someone has outfaked their fake news 8 / 2017

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  19. Let’s just hope Trump doesn’t tweet something stupid that causes the case to get tossed out.

    Glenn (4793ca)

  20. More to the point, it enforces an immigration law. Little baby steps.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  21. Let’s put that guy on the Scromit Comet

    ‘I’ve screamed out for death,’ Chalfonte LeNee Queen, 48, told NPR after experiencing the terrifying illness.

    ‘I’ve cried out for my mom, who’s been dead for 20 years, mentally not realizing she can’t come to me.’

    Little research has been conducted on the topic, but one study found that for scromiting to occur, cannabis users would have to consume marijuana three to five times per day to develop CHS.
    Doctors note that the condition could stem from the body being over saturated by cannabinoids, affecting the hypothalamus

    ‘In one study the average duration of cannabis use prior to onset of recurrent vomiting was… 3.4 years,’ the National Center for Biotechnology Information report added.

    ‘The syndrome was first described in 2004 by Allen and colleagues and is characterized by chronic cannabis use, cyclic episodes of nausea and vomiting, and the learned behavior of hot bathing,’ doctors wrote.

    Medical experts note that the condition could stem from the body being over saturated by cannabinoids – chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors located in the brain.


    Pinandpuller (84b38e)

  22. This is basically a status crime. Has nothing to do with anything anybody did wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (e70ce9)

  23. “MAYBE IT WOULD BE SHORTER TO MAKE A LIST OF MUELLER FOLKS WHO AREN’T HOPELESSLY COMPROMISED: Another One! Mueller Deputy Was Personal Attorney of Ben Rhodes, Represented Clinton Foundation. “Jeannie Rhee, who was hired by Mueller last summer to work on the probe, was the personal attorney of Ben Rhodes and also represented the Clinton Foundation. . . . Rhee is the third member of the Mueller team this week who has been shown to be brazenly partisan. Two other members of the team have been revealed as highly questionable hires in recent days as well — Peter Strzok, an anti-Trumper who helped exonerate Hillary Clinton, and Andrew Weissmann, an unscrupulous prosecutor who told outgoing acting Attorney General Sally Yates in an email that he was ‘proud’ of her for defying President Trump’s travel ban. As bad as Strzok and Weissman are, Jeannie Rhee takes the cake.”

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  24. 22. So a felon possessing a handgun is just status at that time. I guess being caught in possession of cash from a bank robbery could be considered a status.

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  25. Illegal entry into the United States by an alien is not a status. It is an act. If he had a green card, it would be legal for him both to remain, leave and re-enter, and possess firearms.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. And then he went and spoiled it all
    By tweeting something stupid like
    “Build That Damned Wall!”

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  27. both

    nk (dbc370)

  28. A person with a green card can possess firearms?

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  29. During his presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump had promised to “stop the massive inflow of refugees” in order to safeguard the country from terrorists. Chalk up one campaign promise fulfilled.

    According to Fox News, only 3,108 refugees came to the U.S. in October and November. In the same period last year, under Barack Obama’s reign, 18,300 refugees were admitted. That’s a jaw-dropping decline of 83 percent.

    At least he made progress on one promise.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  30. He’s made good on a few others, as well.

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  31. As well Iran Cuba and the move to Jerusalem,

    narciso (d1f714)

  32. A person with a green card can possess firearms?


    nk (dbc370)

  33. You would have food Antarcticas instead of food deserts in some places without that, 28 and 32.

    urbanleftbehind (c54a05)

  34. Re the potential sentence, its entirely possible under the circumstances that Garcia-Zarate will indeed be sentenced to 10 years on each count. When there is a death involved in a firearm offense, even if the death is not “homicide”, that is a huge aggravating factor that dramatically increases the adjusted offense level upon which the term of imprisonment is based.

    And, the fact that there was a death involved is the kind of aggravating fact that a sentencing judge can take into consideration to find that the case is “outside the heartland” of typical “Felon In Possession” or “Alien In Possession” cases that warrants a much longer sentence that is normally called for in the guidelines.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  35. There are also provisions for foreign visitor hunters and target shooters which can be as simple as getting a hunting license in the state you’re in or paying a range fee.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. “The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

    This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

    The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.”

    —- Hugh Hewitt

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  37. But Hewitt still want Mueller to continue, that is the punchline.

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. 35.There are also provisions for foreign visitor hunters and target shooters which can be as simple as getting a hunting license in the state you’re in or paying a range fee.

    I can completely understand the rational behind that, nk but allowing a non-citizen to possess a firearm while excluding Americans who have had minor non-violent crimes befuddles me. If a guy passed a bad check 25 years ago he’s prohibited from defending himself and his family today but a guy from Iraq can possess a .45?

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  39. Eat didn’t halperin one of the accused work for time, were they aware?

    narciso (d1f714)

  40. Huge Nitwit says “don’t worry. Be happy”

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  41. cannabis users would have to consume marijuana three to five times per day

    Well, that would never happen!

    Kevin M (752a26)

  42. Comrade Ben! we are never surprised at what the leftist media like Time choose to give “awards” to. GQ picks an anti-American racist, Time picks all those brave silence breakers. Where were they when women were being raped by Clinton? Nowhere.

    So while Time is honoring the women, GQ honored the men and the racist.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  43. A person with a green card can possess firearms?

    The second amendment says “people” not “citizens.”

    Although it is interesting that the Constitution does not fully reach people illegally present in the US.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  44. In california a medical need for marijuana disqualifies you from firearm possession

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  45. NOT Trump Hoagie..heh.

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  46. Its a San Francisco jury, they are not going to convict anywhere near ten years.

    narciso (d1f714)

  47. I wonder how much time in the TIME article is spent discussion Kathleen Willy, Juanita Broaddrick, or Paula Jones. And the terrible treatment that organizations like TIME gave these women (and still do).

    Kevin M (752a26)

  48. Says Cryptkeeper..

    ‘The president has tremendous moral standards’

    Admiral Ben burn (b3d5ab)

  49. 37… are there any other legal pundits/commentators asking for an investigation of the DOJ and/or FBI, narciso?

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  50. In california a medical need for marijuana disqualifies you from firearm possession

    I believe that is a federal interpretation, approved by the 9th Circuit, not a state one.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  51. 51… so persons overly fond of intoxicating blasts of stupefaction can legally possess a firearm. Yes, that sounds about par for the course here in Cali.

    Colonel Haiku (7f045b)

  52. 48, in due TIME (NPI), isnt Koch Industries trough Meredith Corp. just closing in on the purchase of that rag? Or will they go with the flow once they get their 20% tax rate?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  53. None, lets face facts, a dc jury convicted Ted stevens of malapropriation of funds without any real evidence, just the word of a degenerate oilman who was protected by his FBI handler who wee having a page-srtzok connection. While you all marvel about how Mueller crossed every t in the vejakte investigation, a man who has destroyed careers certainly who has enabled the the Russian gift to actually get its hands on out uranium reserve.

    narciso (d1f714)

  54. I don’t think the Koch’s are as “conservative” as the left would have us believe. I don’t think any billionaire is. Can you name one? Over the past 30 years I’ve watched the Democrat party become the party of the very, very wealthy and the poor with little in between.

    Rev.Hoagie (6bbda7)

  55. Adelson is reasonably so, mostly on his Israel stand, the problem is that time is rotted all the way to the root. Conrad black was, anybody considering such stands learned their lesson, newscorp is doing the merge with with sjw Disney and or comcast

    narciso (d1f714)

  56. 47 Narcisco — Jury doesn’t decide the sentence. Jury only renders verdict of guilty or innocent.

    And its not a San Francisco jury — its a Northern District of California jury. That is centered in the Bay Area, but it includes many California counties outside the Bay Area too. Jurors in federal trials are summonsed from all parts of the District, not just San Francisco County, as was the case in the state court trial that was just concluded.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  57. Maybe I’m skeptical, do i have reason to be,

    narciso (d1f714)

  58. No, I never understood the bogeyman status of the Koch Brothers, seeing as they tended to be prominent funders of questionable causes. There was a kerfuffle near my old neighborhood about petcoke (petroleum refining-byproduct) storage and burning by a subsidiary (KCBX) firm, but the local residents never droned “Koch this or Koch that”.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  59. Because they did finance some classically liberal enterprises, they were the standin for scaife from the nineties.they hadvsome success in Wisconsin.

    narciso (d1f714)

  60. Looks like Patterico was right about bump stocks.

    DRJ (15874d)

  61. I’ll be glad if they can prove this guy committed a crime. But doesn’t the federal prosecution have the same problem with the “I just found it on the ground” story?

    If you are walking down the street and see a nondescript purse lying on the ground, pick it up, and a policeman steps out from around the corner and questions you, I don’t think you are guilty of a crime even if the purse turns out to contain drugs, a gun, etc.

    IANAL, but as I understand it, guilt requires a mental state called mens rea, the consciousness of break the law or wrongful disregard for the consequences of one actions (of course, there is a more precise legal definition), in addition to the physical act of the crime which they call actus reus.

    As in the example of the purse, in Zarate’s case the actus reus is relatively easy to establish – he was an illegal alien, and he did have a firearm in his possession for an undetermined period of time. But proving the requisite mental state seems difficult for all the same reasons he was acquitted on the more serious state charges.

    If he claims “I picked up something wrapped in a shirt lying on the ground, it went off as I was examining it to see what it was, and I immediately threw it into the bay when I realized what it was”, it seems hard to establish otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt, unless there is additional evidence not presented to the first jury.

    Dave (445e97)

  62. The first jury convicted him on the gun charge.

    nk (dbc370)

  63. So basically, why cant there be an Elian Gonzalez moment, twice, once when he is extracted from City/County of Jail and 2 if there is a transfer from either watercraft or helicopter to a Coast Guard launch somewhere in the Pacific.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  64. The first jury convicted him on the gun charge.

    Indeed, but the defense was understandably more focused on the other, more serious, charges. As we noted at the time, the state gun charge had a maximum sentence of three yrs, of which he had already served more than two.

    In the fed trial, they will have to show mens rea in relation to possession of the gun, will they not?

    Dave (445e97)

  65. 61 — I think this might end up an issue that Patterico actually comes out on the other side of.

    The story talks about ATF starting the rule making process for bringing bump stocks within the definition of a device that converts a semi-automatic weapon into an an automatic weapon.

    This may end up being a situation such that Justice Gorsuch would find fault with the agency action.

    One of the issues that marks his judicial career is his willingness to take on the question of how far agencies can stretch rulemaking when it comes to interpreting statutes that are within their purview to enforce. What constitutes a “machinegun” is defined in a federal statute.

    If this becomes an effort by ATF to expand that definition by rulemaking, then its EXACTLY the opposite of what Gorsuch has been advocating.

    If he bump stock fits within the definition established by Congress, no further rulemaking should be necessary. If not, its up to Congress to change the definition.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  66. So who’s got this Karate guy? If it’s CA, they’ll probably sneak him out in a pizza truck before the feds get to him.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  67. Turn the pizza truck the other way and let the other Justin T deal with him.

    urbanleftbehind (c54a05)

  68. In the fed trial, they will have to show mens rea in relation to possession of the gun, will they not?

    Up to a point. That he knew that it was a gun and that he voluntarily possessed it. Since he is not a government official claiming qualified governmental immunity, it is irrelevant whether he knew it was against the law for him to have a gun.

    Did you know that, BTW? That ignorance of the law is no excuse unless you are a person who administers or enforces the law? Then you can be excused for not knowing it?

    nk (dbc370)

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