News


Man pleads not guilty to murder in Kate Steinle's death

DA says undocumented immigrant shot innocent victim at close range; defense contends shooting likely accidental

An undocumented immigrant accused of fatally shooting Pleasanton native Kate Steinle at a San Francisco pier last week pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder with malice aforethought, with his defense attorney arguing that the shooting was likely accidental.

Matt Gonzalez, the chief attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, said at Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez's arraignment Tuesday afternoon that the July 1 death of 32-year-old Steinle, a San Francisco resident, was tragic but that "very likely this was an accidental shooting."

However, Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia told Judge Daniel Flores that the suspect allegedly shot an innocent victim in the back at close range.

Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant who is roughly 45 years old and who has been deported from the United States on multiple occasions for various felonies, was speaking to the court through a Spanish interpreter Tuesday.

Twice during his arraignment Lopez-Sanchez told the judge in English, "I'm not guilty," although the judge had already heard his plea and was asking him an unrelated question regarding scheduling.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials took custody of Lopez-Sanchez in March, when he was remanded to the agency after serving a multi-year federal prison sentence for felony re-entry following deportation, ICE spokesperson Gillian Christensen said in a statement.

ICE turned Sanchez over to San Francisco police on March 26 on an outstanding drug warrant, Christensen said.

San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said the outstanding $5,000 warrant was for selling $20 worth of marijuana at United Nations Plaza back in 1995.

On March 27, a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed the drug charges against Lopez-Sanchez.

ICE requested he be returned to their custody upon his release, but the San Francisco Sheriff's Department did not honor that request, according to Christensen.

San Francisco has a "sanctuary city" policy that prohibits law enforcement officials from detaining an individual on the basis of an immigration detainer when they would otherwise be eligible for release from custody.

Christensen said Sanchez had been deported five times, most recently in 2009. His criminal history includes seven prior felonies, including four involving narcotics, Christensen said.

Gonzalez, however, told the judge Tuesday that Lopez-Sanchez had no convictions for violent offenses.

Bail for Lopez-Sanchez was set at $5 million and he was ordered to appear in court for a pre-hearing conference on July 27.

Editor's note: Officials previously identified Lopez-Sanchez as Francisco Sanchez.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

5 people like this
Posted by Allen Rexler
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:40 pm

You know what the weirdest thing about this story is? The gun belonged to a Federal Agent!

Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by sanity
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

And now they are going to get him off so that the left can duck the fact that an illegal immigrant killed this woman.


3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 8, 2015 at 1:45 pm

No. The weirdest thing is this gave Donald Trump credit. He's the last person I'd want to get validation.

So now [removed] he now has recent support for his overwhelming incorrect statemrnt.


12 people like this
Posted by sanity
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm

@ Pleasanton Parent
You know why? Because as distasteful as he sounds, he's right.
It's time we stop with the political correctness and start recognizing things for what they are. The PC crowd is killing this country and we we don't knock it off we are going to go down in flames. Every time we don't like a reality we just give it a new name like somehow that fixes things. There is a name for this, it's called "Denial".

There is a really good lesson that my late father gave me as a child. He said:
"It's not who's right, it's what's right that matters".

I think if we stop with the endless cheer leading for our respective teams and concentrate on what is actually true we could heal this country, and the world.

Now here you exemplify my point, you wish trump hadn't been validated because you don't like his politics, yet he was right. Lets just concentrate on the facxt that he WAS right and lets take the appropriate actions to remedy the problem with our boarders and immigration system. There is a legal way to come into this country, and skirting that system has brought us to this. Thousands of Americans have been murdered by people who do not belong in this country. We need to fix that. But first we have to admit that it's a problem.


8 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton was nice forty years ago
a resident of Del Prado
on Jul 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm

@pleasanton parent.
What did he say that was incorrect? Feel free to copy and paste the incorrect statements because I don't recall any from the Donald


6 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

I think it is absolutely fantastic to watch every single bay area Democrat now start to hem and haw about how they disapprove of sanctuary city status of SF and other bay area cities.

Spineless ninnys who will say anything to stay elected.

Blood on their hands.



Like this comment
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:19 am

"An undocumented immigrant accused of fatally shooting Pleasanton native Kate Steinle at a San Francisco pier last week pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder with malice aforethought..."

They charged him with murder "with malice aforethought"? I haven't seen any report that indicated that this person deliberately targeted Kate Steinle. If witness accounts say that he did deliberately point the gun at Kate Steinle and other people, that puts a whole new color on this story.


3 people like this
Posted by Speak up
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:26 am

The Pleasanton Weekly Editors should question why there have not been any responses from the Obama Administration over Kate's untimely death. Kate's wonderful family are among Pleasanton's finest. The Obama Admin did not send ANY representatives to Kate's services. Why not? Obama himself spoke at Trayvon Martin's funeral. There were many DOJ and FBI officials investigating Ferguson, Baltimore, Trayvon, etc. So far I hear crickets from the Obama Admin regarding Kate's death.

Remember PW it is one of your Mission Statements to provide a check on government. Take a stand PW and step up. Or is it crickets from you too (which would mean you support the Sanctuary City policy of disregarding Federal law)?


1 person likes this
Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:34 am

@Speak up: "here were many DOJ and FBI officials investigating Ferguson, Baltimore, Trayvon, etc. So far I hear crickets from the Obama Admin regarding Kate's death."

The FBI, DOJ, and, yes, Obama were involved in those cases because they involved alleged "hate crimes". Hate crimes draw special attention for obvious reasons in our multi-ethnic, multi-racial society. There has been no evidence that Kate Steinle was killed because of her race or ethnicity. If you have evidence showing otherwise, then forward it to the FBI and DOJ.


5 people like this
Posted by Speak up
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 10, 2015 at 8:52 am

Hey Damon, You Pretorian Guard for the Obama Admin.,
Did I say it was a "hate crime?" Yes a "hate crime" is against federal law. So is being an "illegal" immigrant who was charged with multiple felonies along with being deported not one, not two but FIVE times. I think there are Federal laws that were broken which deserve at the very minimum position statements by the Obama Admin about Kate's untimely death and potentially Federal investigations.

If Kate's untimely death by this illegal who should have remained deported doesn't deserve at least an opinion piece by the PW, I don't know what does.


4 people like this
Posted by Speak up
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 10, 2015 at 9:26 am

PS...The only "hate crime" that is very apparent to me is the HATE that the Obama Admin has for

America in general and in particular,
Christians,
Whites,
private sector business,
productive people,
successful people,
free and fair elections,
people who are not on welfare,
FoxNews,
the Drudge Report,
conservative talk radio,
free market principles,
home schooling
non-union employees,
people who believe in empirical science (vs man-made global warmists),
private property rights
our Veterans,
US Military
a strong national defense


and...
Our US Constitution, including

life,
liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness


Come to think of it, Damon, since you often defend leftist principles, perhaps you also are against and even "hate" the above as well (?).

(other than the above, the Obama Admin "loves" America.)


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 10, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Pleasanton Parent is a registered user.

His statement is incorrect because its the exception and not the norm. He's presenting a small subset of a larger group as representative of the over all group.

He is correct to discuss immigration reform and the need to address a problem and a criminal activity (illegal border crossing is a crime), but the problem he's citing (rapes and murders) is not the larger more common problem this issue presents to our society.

Finally, his motivation is not to improve the situation, its to get attention. His creditability would also be greater if his true intent was to fix the problem - he just needs to remain in the limelight. His business is not politics, his business is celebrity. Celebrity only pays if you're relevant in media.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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