Speculation generates anxiousness in day 5 of Kate Steinle deliberations

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Waiting for a verdict in a murder trial is like being stranded out in the middle of the ocean. You're hoping for a sign of life. You start to formulate scenarios in your mind. The "what ifs" are endless. (KGO-TV)

Waiting for a verdict in a murder trial is like being stranded out in the middle of the ocean. You're hoping for a sign of life. You start to formulate scenarios in your mind. The "what ifs" are endless. Speaking for myself and for the other reporters, photographers and engineers, believe me we are ready to reach land.

RELATED: Day 5 of deliberations continue in Kate Steinle murder trial

Wednesday, a few things happened which were not part of the daily routine and that got us all excited. The speculation wheels were in motion. For example, this morning the jury decided to enter the courthouse through a back door, they had never done that.

They quietly began deliberating without our knowledge. Then, the judge in the case, Samuel Feng walked up and down the hallway a few times and seemed a little agitated. He's Mr. Cool, Calm and Collected. Did I mention he's also thoughtful? He brings us snacks while we wait.

The third sign of a possible verdict was when Anne Donlan, the spokesperson for the San Francisco Superior Court was making sure that certain people had their media passes. She was also wearing a beautiful dress today.

I've been told that people who work for the court system, attorneys and even the jurors tend to dress up when the verdict is close because they know there's a chance they might be on TV or on the front page of their local newspaper. If this is all sounding like a bunch of paranoia to you, you may be right. Is it too soon to send out an SOS signal?

TIMELINE: How the Kate Steinle trial unfolded

While we wait, the defendant, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, is also awaiting his fate. He has been charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle. The shooting took place on July 1, 2015 at Pier 14 along San Francisco's Embarcadero. His defense team has maintained that he found the stolen gun at the pier, picked it up and that it accidentally went off.

The prosecution argued that Garcia Zarate had the gun with him all along, aimed it at Kate Steinle and fired it. The incident helped fuel the immigration debate in this country. Garcia Zarate is an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times with seven non-violent felony convictions. He was homeless at the time of the shooting. The jury has been told to also consider first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

They can also decide to find him not guilty. There is also a possibility that the jury will not be able to reach a verdict. That's been a topic of conversation in the hallways of the Hall of Justice.

We know that the Steinle family will not be here. A spokesperson told me they do not want their daughter's death to be politicized, yet one more time as President Trump has done. Instead, they have made a videotaped statement which will be released shortly after the verdict is read. As soon as that is posted ABC7 news will air it and will post it online.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on the Kate Steinle murder trial.

Related Topics:
pier 14 shootingmurderhomicidetrialcourtcourt caseimmigrationsanctuary citiesdebatejury dutyviolencefatal shootingSan Francisco
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