Prosecution rests in Kate Steinle murder case

Thursday, November 02, 2017 07:20PM
The prosecution in the People vs. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate murder trial tried to prove that the alleged shooter could have had the gun in one of his pockets before he arrived at Pier 14, where Kate Steinle was shot on July 1, 2015.


SAN FRANCISCO - The prosecution in the People vs. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate murder trial tried to prove that the alleged shooter could have had the gun in one of his pockets before he arrived at Pier 14, where Kate Steinle was shot on July 1, 2015.

TIMELINE: How the Kate Steinle case unfolded

In court, Prosecutor Diana Garcia asked the lead investigator in the case, Lt. Anthony Ravano to place the weapon in the right hand pocket of the jacket Garcia Zarate was wearing that night. The demonstration showed that the gun could easily slip into the pocket. Then Lt. Ravano inserted the gun in the right hand pocket of the black pair of jeans that the defendant had on. Again, the gun fit almost perfectly inside the pocket, but this time it stuck out only by an inch.

The prosecution wanted to demonstrate that Garcia Zarate could have easily hidden the weapon. But Garcia Zarate told police that he had found the gun at the Pier, that night wrapped in some type of rag or clothing. The gun had been stolen five days before from the car of a federal park ranger, William Woychowski of the Bureau of Land Management.

Garcia Zarate's attorney then asked Lt. Ravano if his client's clothes had been tested for gunshot residue. "No, because he did not shoot if from his pocket," answered Ravano. Matt Gonzalez argued that if Woychowski had used it previously at the firing range, the gun would have still have some residue.
TIMELINE: How the Kate Steinle case unfolded

Ravano said, it could be possible. Gunshot residue samples were later taken from Garcia Zarate's hand. Yesterday, the jury was shown video of when police questioned the defendant where he admits to pulling the trigger. He has maintained it was an accident and that he was aiming at a seal.

Today's demonstration reminded people of an iconic moment in the OJ Simpson murder trial when Simpson put on the infamous bloody glove and it appeared it did not fit. "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," said Johnnie Cochran, one of his attorneys. It was one of the turning points in that murder trial.

Garcia Zarate said he found the gun under the swivel chair that he was sitting in, on the pier.

The jury has seen surveillance pictures taken from far away that show six people standing near or sitting in that same chair, several minutes before Garcia Zarate arrived. Ravano testified today that a lot of people frequent that pier and sit in those seats. "Someone would have found it before," said Lt. Ravano with the San Francisco Police Department.

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case this afternoon. The defense will follow.

Click here for more stories on the Kate Steinle murder case.
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