As any news person would, I was waiting for the verdict in the case of the man accused of shooting and killing 32-year-old Kate Steinle in San Francisco in July of 2015.

She and her father were walking along Pier 14 on the San Francisco waterfront when she was hit by a bullet and fell, dying, into her father’s arms.

Her last words were “Help me, Dad.”

But there was nothing he could do. Apparently, there was nothing the justice system could (or would) do to help her, either.

In case you are wondering what I was expecting, I’ll tell you.

The outcome was no surprise to me. It was exactly what I had expected. The guy would walk.

Hey, I haven’t lived in the liberal Bay Area for more than 30 years to not know what the jury would do.

The jury found the accused not guilty of her death – he was found not guilty of any degree of homicide charges.

They had the man who held the gun that fired the bullet that killed her.

He admitted to the media, just after the shooting, that he indeed had held the gun that fired the fatal shot.

He said he had found the gun, wrapped in a T-shirt, under a bench. He used it, he said, to shoot at sea lions in the bay. That was just before it just fired, on its own, and the bullets hit Kate and killed her. And then he threw the gun into the bay.

The only thing he was found guilty of was being a felon in possession of a firearm, possibly facing three years in prison. But with credit for time served, he’ll probably serve no time for that at all.

Who is he?

That’s the critical part of the story, and given the Bay Area, the key element in the fact that this murder of Kate Steinle will go unpunished.

He’s an illegal alien. He’s a man from Mexico, a criminal, who has been found guilty of seven felonies (possession of heroin, marijuana and other drugs over 24 years, plus illegal re-entry into the U.S, which is a felony). He’s been deported from the United States five times. In fact, he was in line for another deportation when he sought refuge in San Francisco. As he told local media, he knew San Francisco is a “sanctuary city” and he would get special protection here. And so he did.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (also known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez) was in the custody of the San Francisco sheriffs department on a felony warrant for marijuana. He had just completed a 46-month federal sentence in Los Angeles when San Francisco got notice the feds wanted him turned over to ICE.

Because of the sanctuary city ruling, they said no. The man was released instead, to the streets – a homeless, unemployed illegal-alien felon. And until Kate Steinle was killed, he was someone who could have mixed into the huge illegal population of California. There are so many, no one even notices anymore, but if you do, you’re regarded as a racist.

So much for liberal compassion.

How about another example? His defense lawyer, Matt Gonzales, said Garcia Zarate “was on trial only because he was the victim of a racist, classist justice system.”

In fact, both the prosecution and the defense went to great extremes to not talk about immigration or his deportation status during the trial. In other words, the jury was kept in the dark about that aspect of the case.

One dirty secret in this country is the huge number of criminal aliens released because of sanctuary city policies. According to a report in WND, ICE says that since 2014, 10,000 criminal aliens were released and went on to commit new crimes.

Talk about justice denied.

The gun in question in this case, a Sig Sauer P239, was stolen from the car of a ranger from the Bureau of Land Management. That happened shortly before the Steinle killing. Who stole the gun? How did it get to the waterfront? How did Zarate get it?

Apparently these issues weren’t fully addressed in the trial. They stuck with the story that he found the gun and it just fired on its own. Of course, that was after he said he had been shooting at sea lions – but consistency didn’t matter much in this fiasco.

In fact, at the end of the trial, the jury requested some time with the gun as they seemed concerned about the issue that it was “so easy” for the gun to fire.

The judge refused the request.

The killer still faces legal issues – the Department of Justice has issued an arrest warrant based on felony firearm possession as a probation violation. What else it may charge him with remains to be seen.

The liberal establishment of the city has supported the result, and the insinuations are that anyone who complains is a bigot. Mayor Ed Lee continues to defend the city’s immigration policies even as a memorial grows at the scene of the shooting.

But in reality, that verdict has made Kate Steinle’s murder a symbol of justice denied. I’ve been inundated with e-mails from people the news business and friends who are horrified that the rights of average citizens have been trampled in the rush to protect illegal immigrants from any criticism.

A tweet from former Illinois congressman and conservative talk host Joe Walsh was printed on the front page of the East Bay Times – he wastes no words:

“Two years ago, the city of San Francisco killed Kate Steinle.

Yesterday, the city of San Francisco spit on her grave.”

A friend of mine, Jim Eason, wrote me:

“There’s a 3-part suggestion: (1) get a weapon; (2) learn how to use it and (3) be able and WILLING to use it. The police cannot protect you – the bureaucracy will not help you – in California, you are on your own. Good luck.”

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