SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The future of the man who admits to killing Kate Steinle could soon hinge on the United States Supreme Court.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate is being tried on federal gun charges related to the fatal shooting of Steinle on San Francisco's Embarcadero three years ago.
RELATED: Alternate juror defends Kate Steinle verdict
But Thursday, his attorney, Tony Serra, asked for a delay in the trial to wait for a decision on a case that's currently being considered by the Supreme Court.
At issue is whether federal charges on crimes already prosecuted in a state court, like Garcia-Zarate's, amount to double jeopardy.
TIMELINE: How the Kate Steinle case unfolded
"If they're not satisfied with three years, they should not have the prerogative of going into federal courts so they can get 10 years," said Serra. "It's something unconscionable. So we have our fingers crossed. We're hoping for a good supreme court ruling on the issue of double jeopardy."
The judge in Garcia-Zarate's federal case said he will rule on the postponement request quickly.
Click here for more stories on the Kate Steinle trial.