Widow of Pulse shooter found not guilty
Noor Salman acquitted on all points. Matt Finn reports from Florida.
Noor Salman, the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people in a nightclub, Orlando in 2016, was found not guilty of obstruction and aiding and abetting, providing material support to a terrorist organization.
Salman had to make to life in prison if she was convicted. The charges that she was acquitted of lying to the FBI and the help of her husband in the attack.
The decision came on the third day of deliberations, after the jury met for a total of 12 hours.
Salman appeared to be very emotional when the verdict was announced. She had tears in her face while she looked at her family and smiled.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT NOOR SALMAN
Chief John Mina of the Orlando Police Department, released a report about the ruling to say: “I believe in our criminal justice system, and I am grateful for the jury’s hard work and thoughtful deliberations. Nothing can erase the pain that we all feel over the senseless and cruel murders of 49 of our neighbors, friends, family members and loved ones.”
In answer to some questions,here is a statement from @ChiefJohnMina on the ruling in the Noor Salman trial: pic.twitter.com/KdwjpEhqdW
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) 30 March 2018
“Our community is strong, and the men and women of the Orlando Police Department are ready to stand in harm’s way to protect our residents and visitors,” Mina concluded.
Prosecutors had argued with Salman and her husband, Omar Mateen, scouted out potential targets to attack together — walt Disney’s shopping and entertainment complex-and they knew that he was the purchase of ammunition for his AR-15 in preparation for a jihadi-inspired attack. In the end, Mateen chose the Pulse nightclub for the deadly shooting on June 12, 2016.
Defense attorneys described Salman, who was born in California to Palestinian parents, as a simple woman with a low IQ. She was abused by her husband, who cheated on her with other women and hidden part of his life from her, ” she said.
Lawyer Charles Swift said that there was no way Salman knew that Mateen attack of the Pulse nightclub because he did not know that he had an attack of the disco until after he went to the Disney Springs complex.
During the trial, the public prosecutor said Salman advised Mateen to lie to his mother when they asked him his whereabouts on the night of the shooting. She said Mateen, who was born in New York to Afghani parents, referred to the attack of Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex by hiding a weapon in a baby stroller, but was chased by the police and instead chose the gay club as his target.
Mateen, who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, was killed by police in the hours after the Pulse, shoot.
Earlier this week, defense attorneys asked the judge for a mistrial after she discovered that Mateen’s father was an FBI informant for years. The judge rejected the request, saying the trial was about Salman, not Mateen’s father.
Salman not testify in her defense.
Fox News’ Terrace Garnier, Allie Raffa and the Associated Press contributed to this report.