Wife of gunman in Orlando club shooting acquitted

02 April, 2018, 11:22 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Noor Salman, widow of Pulse nightclub gunman, found not guilty

The widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman walked free on Friday after a jury cleared her of charges related to the 2016 massacre that killed 49 people in Orlando, stunning survivors who had longed to hold someone accountable.

Salman, 31, was acquitted of all charges that accused her of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and obstruction of justice.

The FBI had obtained Salman's admission of guilt after 11 hours of interrogating her, without an attorney present, and had neglected to record that interrogation, leaving them with no audio or video of her confession - much of which was not written by Salman but merely initialed by her. Salman's lawyer, Linda Moreno, drew on these facts in making case that numerous words in that alleged confession had been "planted" by the FBI - including those that suggested Salman had scouted the Pulse nightclub with her husband.

Defense attorneys argued that Mateen was unfaithful and purchased a father's day gift and travel for the whole family that would take place after the attack-purchases that don't seem to align with someone who knew they were about to die in a shooting. Her family says that after spending a year in jail awaiting trial, her priority is to be reunited with her five-year-old son.

Law enforcement officials at the scene of the Pulse nightclub in June of 2016.

According to the New York Times, Salman "openly sobbed" when the final not-guilty verdict was read, as did family members present in the courtroom and her defense attorneys.

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Prosecutors argued the messages show Salman was helping her husband concoct a cover story to tell his parents, who had invited the couple to a fast-breaking dinner at their mosque. Some people, you know, were watching the trial in hopes of obtaining some answers as to why, you know, Omar Mateen did this and why this happened.

However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not record the interrogation and the defense said she was coerced into making statements.

Defense attorneys described Salman as an easily manipulated woman with a low IQ. What exactly was Noor Salman charged with?

"On the contrary we were convinced she did know", the statement continued. She said the gunman, Omar Mateen, showed her the Pulse website and told her, that's my target. "Her only sin is she married a monster". She went on to state that the terrible act by Mateen "wasn't preplanned" because "if he didn't know, she couldn't know".

Salman's attorneys said they would not discuss when their client would be released. She called a friend and her uncle in California, saying that she was coming to visit and that Mateen would be joining them. A judge rejected motions to either dismiss the case or order a mistrial earlier this week. His intended target was the Disney Springs complex, prosecutors said.

"On this Good Friday, the family wants to say we're very sorry for the family members and friends of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting and also the survivors of that awful attack", a representative from Salman's family said.

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