The Latest: Lawyer says shooter was unaware he had a gun

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Posted: Oct 23, 2017 1:46 PM
The Latest: Lawyer says shooter was unaware he had a gun

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on San Francisco pier shooting murder trial (all times local):

10:35 a.m.

The attorney for a Mexican man accused of fatally shooting a woman on a San Francisco pier says his client is not criminally responsible because he did not know that the object he had in his hand was a gun.

Attorney Matt Gonzalez made the comments outside court before the start of Monday's trial of a case that set off a national immigration debate.

Fifty-four-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate has acknowledged shooting Kate Steinle in the back while she was walking with her father on the downtown San Francisco pier on July 1, 2015.

Zarate has said he found the handgun under a bench and it accidentally fired.

Court spokeswoman Ann Donovan says four members of Steinle's family were expected to attend opening statements in Zarate's trial.

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12:05 a.m.

A trial begins this week for a Mexican man who set off a national immigration debate after he fatally shot a woman on a popular San Francisco pier two years ago.

Fifty-four-year-old Jose Ines Garcia Zarate has acknowledged shooting Kate Steinle in the back while she was walking with her father on the downtown pier on July 1, 2015.

But Zarate says the shooting was accidental.

Zarate told police he was handling a handgun he found under a bench on the pier when it accidentally fired.

The handgun belonged to a Bureau of Land Management ranger who reported that it was stolen from his parked car in San Francisco a week before Steinle was shot.

Zarate is charged with second-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.