Jose Inez Garcia Zarate, the undocumented immigrant acquitted by a San Francisco jury of murdering Kate Steinle on a city pier, has been examined by a mental health professional and found incompetent to stand trial on federal gun charges, a judge said Friday — a finding protested by Garcia Zarate’s lawyer. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria ordered the examination last month after observing that Garcia Zarate’s responses to questions were “sometimes nonsensical” and that he “may not understand the charges against him.” Chhabria said Friday that the professional who examined him had concluded he was unfit to participate in a trial “because of mental illness that is not presently being treated.” He scheduled a hearing for Wednesday and said further proceedings would be required, delaying a trial date, if either side disputed the findings. Defense lawyer J. Tony Serra said Garcia Zarate’s attorneys would ask for a second evaluation. “We want a trial,” Serra said in an interview. “We’re against having him (found) incompetent. He could go away for an indefinite period” to a mental hospital, under government supervision. Kate Steinle Case CrimeBy Evan SernoffskyKate Steinle case: DA defers to feds on gun case against Jose…CrimeBy Evan SernoffskyKate Steinle case:… Read full this story
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