Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the illegal alien charged with the 2015 murder of Kate Steinle, is being represented by attorneys with the public defender’s office who are proving their team has one hell of a set of cajones.
The Chief Attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, Attorney Matt Gonzalez, has launched a very public attempt to blame the stolen Sig Sauer pistol for the 32-year-old woman’s death.
The wild allegation is part of his defense strategy as he openly pleads the case in the court of public opinion. In an Op-Ed published by the San Francisco Examiner, Gonzalez suggested the shooting itself was an accident and declared Sig Sauer guns are known to accidentally discharge.
Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez is accused of firing a gun at Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s Pier 14, two years ago. A semi-automatic handgun owned by a Bureau of Land Management employee and made by a German manufacturer, SIG Sauer, is at the center of the upcoming trial.
Some gun enthusiasts have objected to the Lopez Sanchez defense team’s assertion that the SIG Sauer is known for accidental discharges. They invoke its reputation for quality when fired under ideal conditions. Yet, claims the gun is accident-prone cannot be brushed aside — that’s because the SIG Sauer operates exactly as designed. It’s an elite handgun intended for law enforcement and military personnel who may need to fire it with split second notice. Hence, it has a hair trigger in single-action mode. Even among well-trained users, it has a lengthy history of accidental discharges.
Those opposing gun restrictions can obfuscate any individual case, but the evidence is overwhelming: Accidental discharges of guns (most with heavier trigger pulls than the SIG Sauer) occur with frequency. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimates more than 10,000 unintentional firearm deaths in the United States since 2000. The number of nonfatal shootings is undoubtedly higher.
In yet another Chronicle article, Gonzalez implores readers to believe his client is “more a homeless victim of lifelong poverty than a murderous monster.”
At the preliminary hearing, Gonzalez argued the shooting was an accident, telling the court that because the bullet was damaged on one side, indicating it had ricocheted off the ground, Lopez-Sanchez was not pointing the firearm at Steinle when the bullet pierced her back, traveling through her heart, and ultimately ended her life.
James Steinle, who advocated for Kate’s Law after his daughter’s death, has reported her last words were, “Dad, help me, help me.”
According to Gonzalez, Lopez-Sanchez claimed he “threw the gun into the bay so it would stop firing” after the fatal shooting.
What do you think of this defense strategy?