An undocumented immigrant accused of fatally shooting a woman at a San Francisco pier pleaded not guilty today to murder with malice aforethought, with his defense attorney arguing that the shooting was likely accidental.
Matt Gonzalez, the chief attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, said at Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez's arraignment this afternoon that the death of Pleasanton native and San Francisco resident 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was tragic but that "very likely this was an accidental shooting."
However, Assistant District Attorney Diana Garcia told Judge Daniel Flores that the suspect allegedly shot an innocent victim in the back at close range.
Sanchez, who is 52 years old according to the DA's office and who has been deported from the United States on multiple occasions for various felonies, was speaking to the court through a Spanish interpreter.
Twice during his arraignment Sanchez told the judge in English, "I'm not guilty," although the judge had already heard his plea and was asking him an unrelated question regarding scheduling.