Stolen weapon on display in San Francisco pier murder case

AP News
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Posted: Aug 26, 2015 3:20 PM
Stolen weapon on display in San Francisco pier murder case

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The stolen pistol a Mexican national at the center of an immigration spat used to fatally shoot a young San Francisco woman was on display during a court hearing.

It's a pivotal piece of evidence in a case in which 45-year-old Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez admits to firing the fatal shot, but says it was an accident.

A San Francisco police ballistics expert testified Wednesday that the bullet was damaged, raising the possibility the shot ricocheted off a hard surface before striking 32-year-old Kate Steinle (STYN'-lee) in the back.

The two-day preliminary hearing is expected to wrap up Wednesday and a judge will decide if Lopez-Sanchez should stand trial for murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Lopez-Sanchez has been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth removal from the country when he was released from San Francisco's jail before the shooting.