Illegal immigrant acquitted of Kate Steinle's murder seeks new trial for firearm conviction

The illegal immigrant who was acquitted of the murder of Kate Steinle late last month is seeking a new trial for his firearm possession conviction.

Lawyers for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on Thursday claimed that the judge presiding over the murder trial failed to properly instruct jurors before they acquitted him.

FILE - This undated file booking photo provided by the San Francisco Police Department shows Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, which is what his attorney says is the birth name of the man who has been known by a number of aliases, including Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez. A jury has been selected for the murder trial of Zarate, whose case set off a national debate over sanctuary cities and immigration during last year's presidential campaign after he was accused of shooting and killing a woman on a popular San Francisco pier. Opening arguments are set for Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. (San Francisco Police Department via AP, File)

Lawyers for Jose Ines Garcia Zarate on Thursday claimed the judge presiding over Kate Steinle's murder trial failed to properly instruct jurors before they acquitted him in her murder.  (San Francisco Police Department)

Zarate’s lawyers argued in court papers that the jury should’ve considered the claim that he didn’t know he was holding a gun when it fired on San Francisco’s Pier 14 in July 2015.

Lawyers also argued their client didn’t hold the gun long enough to warrant a firearm possession conviction.

The judge declined to include those instructions and jurors convicted him of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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Zarate was acquitted of both first and second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the trial. He was also found not guilty of assault with a semi-automatic weapon.

After Zarate was acquitted in Steinle’s death, U.S. immigration officials said he would be deported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.