Wife of Pulse nightclub killer Omar Mateen found not guilty of aiding husband's attack that left 49 people dead
02 April, 2018, 11:23
She could have faced life in prison.
Prosecutors say Salman knew about Mateen's plans and did nothing to stop them.
In some of those statements, she admitted she knew her husband was devouring Islamic State propaganda and stockpiling weapons, and at one point said she helped him scout locations for his attack, but the defense successfully argued these were false confessions obtained under pressure and unsupported by the evidence. "I was in denial and I could not believe that the father of my child was going to hurt other people", she allegedly wrote after finding out what her husband had done.
"We just relived the whole thing all over again", said India Godman, who was in the nightclub when shots rang out, killing 14 of her friends.
Salman was charged with providing material support to the Islamic State and with obstructing justice.
The jury deliberated for a total of 12 hours before coming to the not guilty verdict.
Ms Salman, was born in California to Palestinian parents. did not testify in her defence.
Defence attorney Fritz Scheller speaks with members of the media following the acquittal of the Pulse Nightclub gunman's widow Noor Salman in Orlando on Friday.
"She doesn't go to the mosque, she searches for Hello Kitty on her website", Swift said in closing arguments. "I said, day one, that she's innocent and I would stand here in front of you when the jury comes with the verdict to tell you, 'I told you so'".
They asked several questions, including about the statement Salman made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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It's an extremely hard day for the victims of Pulse Nightclub, their families, and everyone affected by the horrific events of June 12, 2016.
Salman also said in the statement that she had accompanied Mateen while casing Pulse and other potential targets.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney showed surveillance video of the Disney Springs complex that captured Mateen walking near the House of Blues club in the hours before the Pulse attack.
"The bottom line is that, based on the letter of the law, and the detailed instructions provided by the court, we were presented with no option but to return a verdict of not guilty", the statement read.
Officials from U.S. District Court in Orlando said the jury's decision would be announced Friday morning.
"I'm in shock. I think that she knew that he was up to something", said Neema Bahrami, an event manager at the nightclub who survived the shooting while his best friend was killed.
Defense lawyers, in documents filed with the court over the weekend, called for a mistrial in Salman's case following the revelation that her father-in-law Seddique Mateen had served as an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant. To prosecutors, she was a willing accomplice who gave her husband a "green light" to carry out the attack.
Salman was at home with the couple's then 3-year-old son when the mass shooting took place.
She said her husband only had one gun when he had three. "The importance to this case is that if he didn't know, she couldn't know".
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