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Undocumented Immigrant To Stand Trial For San Francisco Waterfront Shooting

By Jelani James | Sep 04, 2015 02:19 PM EDT

A judge has ordered that the undocumented immigrant from Mexico, which sparked a nationwide debate about immigration, stand trial on a murder for the murder of a young woman on the San Francisco Waterfront.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, 45, was charged with murder and illegal possession of a firearm in the July 1 shooting of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle at the city's Pier 14, according to Reuters.

A journalist reporting at the scene tweeted that the judge would allow a jury to determine whether Sanchez's actions classify as second-degree murder or manslaughter, reported the International Business Times. A murder charge in this instance would carry a sentence of 43 years to life, while manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 19 years.

Sanchez admitted to shooting Steinle but claims that the gun wasn't his and that it fired accidentally, according to CBS San Francisco.

After being arrested, authorities revealed that Sanchez was a felon who had been deported to Mexico five times. The case soon rose to national prominence thanks to Donald Trump and sparked a national debate about immigration and "sanctuary cities."

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