Immigrant accused of killing Cal Poly grad appears in court

August 26, 2015
Kathryn Steinle

Kathryn Steinle

An illegal immigrant who shot and killed a 32-year-old Cal Poly graduate last month in San Francisco is appearing in court this week as a judge decides whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a murder trial. [SF Gate]

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who has been deported to Mexico five times, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Kathryn Steinle. Lopez-Sanchez told local television stations in a jailhouse interview that his gun accidentally fired the shot that killed Steinle.

On July 1, Steinle was walking with her father along Pier 14 in San Francisco when she was shot in the back. Lopez-Sanchez’s lawyer is also arguing the shooting was accidental.

Consecutive days of preliminary hearings are currently taking place in the case. San Francisco Judge Brendan Conroy heard witness testimony on Tuesday, and he could rule Wednesday whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a murder trial.

On Tuesday, a woman who witnessed the incident from a nearby hotel window testified. After the shooting occurred, the woman saw a large crowd of people running to help the victim.

She saw one man walking in the opposite direction, the woman testified. The woman snapped photos of the man.

Police later brought Lopez-Sanchez to the witness. She confirmed Lopez-Sacnhez was the man she photographed walking away from Steinle as everyone else in the area was walking toward the victim.

Lopez-Sanchez is a seven-time felon. After an arrest in March, he was permitted to stay in the country because San Francisco is a sanctuary city that does not turn over inmates to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Following the incident, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump called for stricter immigration laws. A national debate has since ignited over the concept of sanctuary cities and federal restrictions that bar local law enforcement from handing off illegal immigrants to ICE.

Just before Steinle was shot, she was taking a smiling selfie with her father. Jim Steinle since testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he urged lawmakers to abolish local policies of ignoring ICE detainer requests.

Also following the Steinle killing, an illegal immigrant allegedly sexually assaulted and murdered a Santa Maria woman, and another illegal immigrant allegedly beat a Paso Robles toddler so badly that she nearly died. The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office released the suspect in the Paso Robles beating, even though ICE requested that he be held.


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28 Comments

  1. ml1999 says:

    Why didn’t they put “illegal immigrant” in the headline here?

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. Slowerfaster says:

    Kathryn Steinle was killed because a person that was not responsible and mentally qualified had access to a gun.

    Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed the other day because a person that was not responsible and mentally qualified had access to a gun.

    The cause is the same: mentally unstable people that acquire guns that should be denied. It’s an equation, not an either/or.
    The result is the same: tragedy …and tragedy compounded by the insanity of never doing anything different.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • CentralcoastRN says:

      Mentally unstable people think they are awesome and fine. They can get guns illegally, just like the illegal got here illegally. It is amazing how people who want something can find it.

      You know, if the bank robber in SLO who stabbed himself in the eye and blinded himself, then ate his own poop in court is competent but this illegal is not, I am pulling out the “race card”.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. Citizen says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the judge decides there isn’t enough evidence to hold the guy for murder, and just lets him go (without notifying ICE).

    (22) 30 Total Votes - 26 up - 4 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Certainly would if it was the 9th circuit, they are so out of touch with the real world.

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
  4. smiley says:

    Justice is her daddy pumping lead into that S.O.B s stomach in the courtroom while a lynch mob goes to the Sheriffs and city council members houses. Unfortunately all we are going to see and hear is b.s and the wheels of justice spinning without traction.

    (16) 32 Total Votes - 24 up - 8 down
    • willieslo says:

      If the daddy did pump lead into his belly, he should not be charged because it will also be just “an accident”

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  5. Pelican1 says:

    Our system has failed us again. ILLEGAL immigrants are just that…here illegally. Not only that, this guy is a 7 time felon who managed to get a gun.
    If I were the family, I would sue the City of San Francisco, the State of California and anyone culpable in allowing this man to not only return numerous times after being deported, but allowing him to walk the streets…with a firearm.
    My condolences to the family.

    (10) 16 Total Votes - 13 up - 3 down
  6. shelworth says:

    What? No bail? Racist court!

    (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
  7. markslo70 says:

    yeah, we should just round them all up. Spics and negros commit a disproportionate amount of the crime, so they must be inferior in some way, right? Even the legal ones. I think most of us are in agreement that it’s time to save our racially and culturally superior white communities and put an end to the great brownish problem. Maybe Bayer still has a useful “headache” formula laying around.

    Don’t you love how history seems to repeat itself: “you can always get one half of the working class to kill the other half.”

    (-22) 40 Total Votes - 9 up - 31 down
    • azuresees says:

      An absolutely ignorant passive aggressive response. Give this fool no quarter..
      (PS- Fool: That doesn’t mean .25 cents)

      (7) 23 Total Votes - 15 up - 8 down
      • markslo70 says:

        “give this fool no quarter” – what an ironic statement seeing as how the guy with the gun literally was a fool (he evidently has the iq of a child) and if he had adequate quarter to begin with he wouldn’t have been wandering around downtown sf out of his mind with a gun.
        Painting a retard with a gun out to be the face of an entire race of people is just plain stupid, and such misconceptions will only lead us to attack ourselves rather than work together to actually solve problems. The media doesn’t provide solutions – they want to keep things the way they are, and they want to pump as much divisive shit as they can because angry viewers tune in more (ex. the recent explosion in racism in the “older” demographic that only receives their info from a few mainstream sources).
        Want to build a $trillion dollar wall and pay $billions to staff it every year? Fine. At least maybe it will create some jobs. Still, I doubt even a fancy new wall will work. If history has taught us anything it’s that as long as a lack of equality of economic opportunity persists, people will find a way to skirt any obstacle (oh, and fyi, despite what politicians and pundits may tell you, immigration reform has and always will be a pipe dream – do you really think big business is going to allow part of its labor market to decrease its competition and drive up costs?—believe what you want, just keep in mind that the people you see on tv are paid an awful lot of $ because they are very good at what they do: selling their “product”). The problem with this country is that its people are so caught up fighting each other for the scraps of the wealth they created that they’ve missed out on the opportunity to realize a much better future for everyone.

        (-12) 20 Total Votes - 4 up - 16 down
        • kayaknut says:

          “to be the face of an entire race of people is just plain stupid”, but didn’t they do that with some idiot in S.C. standing in front of a Confederate Flag?, Yeah, not a race, but now anyone who displays a Confederate Flag is a potential murder in their eyes.

          (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down

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