Alternate juror supports murder acquittal in pier shoot

SAN FRANCISCO – another member of the jury who sat through a murder trial, which led to a fierce immigration debate, says that he agrees with the decision of the jury is to acquit a Mexican man of murder for the shooting death of a San Francisco woman two years ago.

Phil Van Stockum said in an interview Wednesday that there was no evidence Jose Ines Garcia Zarate planned or intended to kill Kate Steinle on July 1, 2015.

He said acquitting Garcia Zarate of involuntary manslaughter was a closer call. But he said jurors had to first determine that the Mexican man was armed with a gun before he shot and killed Steinle.

Garcia Zarate said that he does not know whether he had a gun in his hands to the fire.

Van Stockum was an alternate juror and did not participate in the deliberations.

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