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Trump blames Democrats for woman’s death, immigrant’s acquittal

In this July 7, 2015 file photo, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor, center, for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. Jurors ended their fifth day of deliberations Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, without reaching a verdict in the murder trial that sparked a national debate over immigration policy. Jurors are deciding whether Garcia Zarate meant to shoot Steinle in 2015 or if they believe his claim that the the shooting was accidental. (Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, Pool, File)

President Donald Trump blamed Democrats for the shooting death of a woman in San Francisco and the acquittal of an undocumented Mexican immigrant charged with her murder.

Trump tweeted Friday morning and Thursday night about the case of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges of Kathryn Steinle.

Zarate said the 2015 slaying of Steinle, 32, who was walking the pier with her father, was an accident.

Under a sanctuary city law, the San Francisco sheriff’s department had released Zarate from jail despite a federal immigration request to detain him for deportation.

He had already been deported five times under various names. Under one of his aliases — Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez — he was twice arrested in Arizona in the 1990s.

Trump called the verdict “disgraceful.”

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) echoed Trump’s sentiments.

“I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak the Steinle family must feel tonight. This verdict was an absolute tragedy,” Biggs said in a statement.

The president also tweeted that the jury had not been told Zarate was a seven-time felon.

Steinle’s death was a talking point during Trump’s campaign.

The Justice Department was weighing options on bringing federal charges against Zarate and Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it would “work to … ultimately remove him from the country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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