Kathryn Steinle was shot dead at San Francisco's Pier 14 while out for an evening stroll with her father along the waterfront.
Jurors convicted the undocumented immigrant of being a felon in possession of a firearm after deliberating for more than 24 hours over six days.
FILE - In this July 7, 2015 file photo, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, right, is led into the courtroom by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, left, and Assistant District Attorney Diana Garciaor, center, for his arraignment at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco. "There was a lot of misinformation and bad publicity".
Prosecutors had argued that this was a calculated murder, while defense attorney Matt Gonzalez countered in court it was a "freakish ricochet".
"Both sides fought very hard", prosecutor Alex Bastian said.
The family did not attend the reading of the verdict.
Jurors ended their fifth day of deliberations Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, without reaching a verdict in the murder trial that sparked a national debate over immigration policy. If that's true it would rule out first or second-degree murder which requires "malice aforethought".
Steinle was walking with her father and a family friend on a sunny day in July 2015 when she was shot, collapsing into her father's arms.
The sheriff's department released him a few days later after the district attorney dropped the marijuana charge, despite a US request to detain him for deportation.
Garcia Zarate, who also used the name Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, had been deported five times before the deadly encounter.
The weapon, as it turned out, had been stolen from a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger a week before.
The illegal immigrant who shot Kate Steinle has been found not guilty on all but one charge involving possession of a weapon.
The case against Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who immigrated illegally to the United States, became a rallying cry for President Donald Trump during his campaign for the White House, as he pushed to halt illegal immigration and penalize so-called sanctuary cities, including San Francisco.
Politics, however, did not come up in the month-long trial that featured extensive testimony from ballistics experts.
Defense attorney Francisco Ugarte said Thursday the death of Kate Steinle was an "incomprehensible tragedy", but the ruling was a vindication for immigrants. He said the immigration status of defendant had no relevance to the case, and the verdict was a correct reflection of what transpired.
"When jurisdictions choose to return criminal aliens to the streets rather than turning them over to federal immigration authorities, they put the public's safety at risk".
"Donald Trump talks about Kate Steinle like he knows her". Before the killing, he had been released from a San Francisco jail after a minor drug charge was dismissed.