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Mexican national accused of shooting woman on San Francisco pier wants case dismissed

Juan Francisco Sanchez-Lopez

Juan Francisco Sanchez-Lopez walks into court for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on July 7. 

(Michael Macor / Associated Press)

The Mexican national charged with fatally shooting a young San Francisco woman walking on a city pier last summer is seeking dismissal of his criminal case, which added to the national debate over illegal immigration.

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Juan Francisco Sanchez-Lopez and his lawyer, Matt Gonzalez, are expected to ask a judge Friday to drop a second-degree murder charge and related counts, arguing that the judge presiding over a preliminary hearing late last year made procedural mistakes.

A San Francisco judge on Sept. 4 ordered Sanchez-Lopez to stand trial on murder charges.

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Lopez-Sanchez was in the country illegally when he was released from the San Francisco jail despite federal immigration authorities requesting he remain in custody for possible deportation.

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He has pleaded not guilty in the July 1 shooting death of Kathryn Steinle, who was strolling on the Embarcadero when she was shot once in the back. Lopez-Sanchez’s attorney didn’t return a phone call.

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