Pulse nightclub gunman's widow acquitted of aiding murder of 49 people
02 April, 2018, 11:25 | Author: Lora Ball
Noor Salman, the widow to the infamous gunman Omar Mateen, has been found not guilty in connection to the killing spree at Orlando'sPulse nightclub that took 49 lives of the LGBTQ community and injured over 50 others. If she had been convicted, she could have received life in prison.
"We are so grateful to them, so grateful for their verdict", Susan Clary, the spokeswoman for Salman's family, said outside court.
Attorney Charles Swiftargued there was no way Salman knew that Mateen would attack the Pulse nightclub because even he didn't know he would attack it until moments before the shooting.
The FBI also found receipts and cell phone signal locations that showed Salman was away from Pulse nightclub on the day she had admitted to being there with her husband to evaluate it as a target.
"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 disgusting attack", said Susan Clary, Noor's family spokeswoman.
She was also acquitted of obstruction of justice.
The jury deliberated starting on Wednesday after three weeks of testimony.
Outside the courthouse, Salman's family said they were eager for her to be able to see her young son again.
"It's a terrible, random, senseless killing by a monster", Swift said during closing arguments.
Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of the widow of the Orlandonightclub shooter who killed 49 people in 2016.
Beyond Salman's confession, the prosecution's case was relatively thin, resting on circumstantial evidence that Mateen and Salman were anticipating a major, potentially fatal event in the 11 days leading up to the shooting: During that period, the couple racked up purchases and cash withdrawals that added up to more than Mateen's annual salary as a security guard, while also adding Salman as a death beneficiary to Mateen's bank account.
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. They also heard his conversations with an Orlando police negotiator, in which he declared his support for the Islamic State, blaming USA military strikes in the Middle East for the attack.
Her lawyers tried to keep the Federal Bureau of Investigation statement out of the trial, claiming it was coerced. "It is clear they believed it was coerced", Weinstein said in a statement.
However, a forensic clinical psychologist testified that she gave false confessions due to her low IQ scores, mental issues, lack of sleep, and extended interrogations.
A few hours later, Noor Salman, 31, was freed from detention with her head down and clutching the hand of a lawyer, Fritz Scheller. Her lawyers say she had no knowledge of them and was mentally and physically abused by him.
"Why would Omar Mateen confide in Noor, a woman he clearly had no respect for?" defense attorney Linda Moreno said during her closing arguments.
Prosecutors argued that Salman knew about Mateen's plans and did nothing to stop them.
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