Sanchez charged with murder in San Francisco pier shooting

SAN FRANCISCO (AP and KTVU) -- The San Francisco District Attorney's Office announced early Monday evening that Francisco Sanchez has been charged with murder for the incident stemming from the Wednesday evening shooting at Pier 14. 

32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot Wednesday as she walked with her father and a family friend at Pier 14, one of the busiest attractions in the city. Police arrested 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez about an hour after the seemingly random slaying of the San Francisco resident.

Sanchez is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, according to the District Attorney's Office.  

Sanchez has seven felony convictions and has been deported five times to his native Mexico, most recently in 2009, federal officials said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had turned Sanchez over to authorities in San Francisco on March 26 on an outstanding drug warrant.

The Sheriff's Department released Sanchez on April 15 after the San Francisco district attorney's office declined to prosecute him for what authorities said was a decade-old marijuana possession case.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the agency had issued a detainer for Sanchez, requesting notification of his release and that he stay in custody until immigration authorities could pick him up. The detainer was not honored, she said.

Freya Horne, counsel for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, said Friday that federal detention requests are not sufficient to hold someone. Under the city's sanctuary ordinance, people in the country illegally aren't handed over to immigration officials unless there's a warrant for their arrest.

Local officials checked and found none. ICE could have issued an active warrant if it wanted the city to keep Sanchez jailed, Horne said.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee released a statement Monday regarding the tragic death of Steinle.

in part Mayor Lee's statement read, "I am deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless death of Kathryn Steinle. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Kathryn’s family and friends at this very difficult time. I have spoken with Kathryn’s family, and they would like everyone to remember their daughter for the wonderful person that she was..."

The statement continued, "There has been much discussion about San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Policy in the aftermath of Kathryn’s death. Let me be clear: San Francisco’s Sanctuary City Policy protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons. Our City’s policy helps immigrant and limited-English speaking communities where sometimes people fear and mistrust the criminal justice system." 

Kathryn Steinle's parents say they are focused on healing and not on the fact that the man accused of shooting her has been deported five times.

Kathryn Steinle's father, Jim Steinle, told reporters he hopes justice reigns in the case against Sanchez.

"We're not dwelling on that," he said Friday, referring to the fact that Sanchez could have been deported months ago. "That's not going to bring Kate back."

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of San Francisco held a prayer service for Kathryn Steinle Monday. Steinle’s family is planning a memorial service for the young woman, who had just moved to the city from Pleasanton.

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