Almost two years ago that 49 people were butchered in the night club of her husband, Omar Mateen, the widow of the trial will be the only criminal prosecution, for what was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in AMERICAN history.
At one point, it was the deadliest mass shooting in modern AMERICAN history. Now, two years after 49 people were butchered in a busy nightclub in Orlando, the wife of the gunman responsible trial — and the families of the victims are looking for justice.
Omar Mateen opened fire with a Sig Saur semi-automatic rifle on June 12, 2016, killing dozens of people before he was fatally shot hours later by the police. The trial of his widow, Noor Salman, will be the only criminal prosecution for the incident.
Testimony could begin this week in a process that is expected to last at least three weeks. Salman faces up to life in prison, if convicted. Here is what you need to know.
What is she accused of?
Salman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting Mateen’s allegiance to the Islamic State. She is also charged with obstruction of justice, as FBI agents say that they lied to them during the interview hours after the attack.
FBI agents interviewed Salmon three times. She said that she was aware Mateen was planning to do something, and that the texts of her husband to prove it.
“She knew that he would go to the behavior of the attack, the federal attorney Roger Handberg told a judge during a hearing in Oakland on Jan. 17, 2017.
A text recovered from the Salmon phone reads, “If ur mother calls to say nimo invited you and noor wants to stay at home.” Another reads, “They asked where you were xoxo. Love you.”
“Nimo,” or Nemo, is the name of one of Mateen’s friends, who defense attorneys said Mateen often used to cover his tracks as he went out to cheat on his wife.
She shopped with her husband at Walmart the night before the attack when he bought five containers with ammunition, a source close to the investigation previously told Fox News.
A law enforcement source also told Fox she had driven her husband to Pulse nightclub at least once before the deadly shooting.
What is her defense?
The family and the Salmon lawyers deny they had anything to do with Mateen of the plot.
In November 2016, interview with The New York Times, Salman apologized for her husband from the law and claimed that she was not aware of his plan.
“I don’t condone what he has done,” she told the newspaper. “I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people.”
From various documents of the court of auditors, it is expected that the defense will say Salman was abused by her husband and feared for her life. Her lawyers also claim that they are not given proper Miranda warnings, which tell suspects they have a right to remain silent and have a lawyer present, before they make statements.
“I knew when he left the house he went to Orlando to the attack of the Impulse Night Club,” Salman confirmed in a signed statement, written by an FBI agent, according to the documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.
Defense attorneys are likely to argue this confession was forced and, therefore, should not be admissible in court.
What about her family?
FBI agents arrested Salman in January 2017, in her California home, where she had been, who with her young son, which she shared with Mateen.
The now 5-year-old boy, who lives with his grandmother in California, has since learned about his father’s steps and has not had contact with Mateen’s side of the family, Susan Clary, spokesperson of Salman’s family, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Salman reportedly calls on the boy daily.
“They talk about what he has learned in his kindergarten class that day and what his favorite toys are,” said the Florida newspaper.
What do we know about her process so far?
U. S. District Judge Paul G. Byron, federal prosecutors and defense attorneys picked 12 jury members and six alternates on 12 March.
Opening statements began in federal court Wednesday in downtown Orlando.
Fox News’ Phil Keating and The Associated Press contributed to this report.