Steinle closing arguments push for 1st-degree murder verdict

“A vibrant life was taken from us because of this man’s actions.  Kate Steinle was wiped from the face of the Earth in her father’s arms because of this man.” 

- District Attorney Diana Garcia, Prosecution

Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate being escorted into the courtroom (Photo: Getty Images)

Prosecutors pressed the jury for a 1st-degree murder verdict in the Kate Steinle killing trial.

Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia argued that murder suspect Jose Ines Garcia-Zarate must be convicted of 1st-degree murder.  

This comes in slight contrast to the majority of her arguments throughout the trial where she had been seeking 2nd-degree murder charges.

The difference is that whereas a 2nd-degree murder conviction requires a finding of intent to kill or conscious disregard for human life, 1st-degree murder requires a finding of premeditation.

The DA was tasked with convincing the jury on Monday that there was sufficient evidence of premeditation.

Garcia portrayed the defendant as a sinister individual figure who brought a loaded pistol to a “target-rich environment” because he “wanted to fire this gun” and hurt people or property. 

The crux of the argument:  Garcia-Zarate was playing a sadistic game of Russian Roulette.

Flowers being placed on Pier 14 where Kate Steinle was killed (Photo: Getty Images)

Garcia-Zarate's defense team used their closing arguments to go through each piece of evidence presented by the prosecution and discredit them.

Over the course of the trial, their main contention has been that Garcia-Zarate accidentally shot Steinle after a bullet ricocheted from a pistol he had found.  

Defense attorney Matt Gonzalez Garcia Zarate tried to make it clear that if his client had actually wanted to do as much damage as possible like the prosecutors argued, he would have fired the gun more than once.  

Moreover, he wouldn’t have fired it at the ground 12 to 15 feet from him — and 78 more feet from Steinle's location on the pier.

Vivian Ho of the SF Chronicle joined the show today to talk about the latest in the Steinle murder trial:

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