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San Francisco Pier Shooting Suspects Seeks Case's Dismissal

Beck Diefenbach / AP

Flowers and a candle lay on the ground following a vigil for Kathryn Steinle, Monday, July 6, 2015, on Pier 14 in San Francisco.

Beck Diefenbach / AP

11:50 a.m. (AP) - The lawyer for a Mexican national charged with fatally shooting a young San Francisco woman wants his client's murder charge dismissed, saying the killing that rekindled the national debate over illegal immigration was an accident.

The judge deciding the issue canceled a hearing scheduled for Friday, saying he wants more time to consider the issue. Attorneys will argue the matter March 24.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder and other charges for the July 1 death of 32-year-old Kate Steinle.

His lawyer, Matt Gonzalez, says the charge is too harsh because the shooting was inadvertent.

Lopez-Sanchez says he found the gun on a city pier and that it accidentally fired when he picked it up, striking Steinle in the back.