Widow of Pulse nightclub gunman cleared of all charges
- Author: Joey Payne Apr 02, 2018,
Apr 02, 2018, 1:58
The jury had been deliberating since Wednesday. The verdict is a major blow to federal and local law enforcement, which had hailed Salman's arrest last January as a step toward justice and accountability for the massacre. So did a cousin and two uncles, seated two rows behind her.
Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma, centre, who was present for the verdict, leaves the courthouse with a group of family members of Pulse victims on Friday. "She can go home now and try to pick up the pieces".
Salman's defense team said that her only crime was marrying "a monster", and they described her home life as one filled with abuse and adultery.
"We respect the jury's verdict and thank them for their hard work", said the U.S. Attorney's Office in a statement.
"Nothing can erase the pain we all feel about the senseless and brutal murders of 49 of our neighbors, friends, family members and loved ones", Mina said. "Our community is strong". 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. Police killed him after the attack.
Salman also advised Mateen to lie to his mother when she inquired about his whereabouts on the night of the shooting, prosecutors said.
Fellow defense attorney Charles Swift agreed that tending to her son will be Salman's first and foremost priority.
"It's a terrible, random, senseless killing by a monster", Mr Swift said during closing arguments. "We're supposed to believe she had long conversations with Omar Mateen about jihads?"
Later on in the test, Salman's lawyers additionally required Byron to state a mistrial or disregard the situation outright, stating the prosecution had actually held back important details for the growth of their debate. She had faced a sentence of up to life in prison.
During 10 days of testimony, jurors watched surveillance video showing Mateen buying weapons prior to the shooting and also opening fire inside the nightclub. She may not have known what day, or what location, but she knew. "She looked back at her family before leaving the courtroom through a side door", wrote reporters Gal Tziperman Lotan and Krista Torralva, "escorted by a USA marshal".
David Weinstein, a Miami defence attorney not involved in the case, said the lack of a recorded confession from Salman probably influenced the jury, which was shown only a written statement.
Defence attorneys countered Salman was essentially bullied into the confession, and that investigators had misread her text.
The defense moved for a mistrial this week when prosecutors belatedly admitted that Omar Mateen's father Seddique Mateen was an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant for over ten years, a fact the defense said would have influenced its arguments.
The family said it did not know when or if Noor Salman would be returning to the Bay Area.
" Our idea at the same time was attested today", defense lawyer Linda Moreno stated.
Salman was interviewed by authorities for 11 hours, and her IQ score is 84, which makes her "below average in intelligence", Frumkin said.
The revelation threatened to upend the case against Salman, but the judge denied the motion, saying it was not relevant.
Ms Salman was married to Mateen when he attacked gay nightspot Pulse in June 2016 as he claimed allegiance to Islamic State. The dates of the money transfers were between March 16 and June 5, 2016, according to the email.