Widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter found not guilty

Widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter found not guilty

In a series of trials, hearings, and private sessions after the traumatic shooting that killed 49 people and injured another 53, lawyers and jury members argued whether 31-year-old Noor Salman knew if her husband was plotting to terrorize the club on June 12, 2016. She faces life in prison if convicted.

Salman was indicted a year ago on charges of aiding her husband in planning the attack, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors say Salman knew about Mateen's plans and did nothing to stop them.

Sarah C. Sweeney, an assistant U.S. attorney, declared that Salman thought Pulse was inside of Disney World, which they indeed had visited, so she was confused as to where Pulse "was".

But the defence said that Salman, who was born in California to Palestinian parents, was abused and cheated on by her husband and that he concealed much of his life from her. "However, we were not tasked with deciding if she was aware of a potential attack", the foreperson said.

She was also acquitted of obstruction of justice.

The verdict comes after three days of deliberations. While the conviction of Noor Salman would not have brought anyone back or undone the crime, but the massacre now goes unresolved and still leaves many questioning her involvement.

"She doesn't go to the mosque, she searches for Hello Kitty on her website", Swift said in closing arguments.

Defense attorney Linda Moreno told jurors.

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Central to the case were statements Salman made to Special Agent Ricardo Enriquez at an Federal Bureau of Investigation office in the hours after the attack. They said Salman is not capable of being "calculating", "deceptive" or "able to connect the dots". They say it was coerced and she signed it because she was exhausted and feared losing her young son.

Officials from U.S. District Court in Orlando said the jury's decision would be announced Friday morning.

"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.

"I am disappointed in the outcome of the trail and know the victims and/or their families are more disappointed", Demings said.

But the defence portrayed her as an easily manipulated woman with a low IQ and argued that she signed a false confession because she was exhausted after a long interrogation and feared losing her young son.

Salman is the widow of Pulse Nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.

She gave him a "green light to commit terrorism", prosecutors said.

Offering an especially chilling detail, Ms. Sweeney suggested that Mr. Mateen bought a baby carriage and doll at a Walmart the night before the massacre so that he could hide his AR-15 assault rifle and draw no suspicion as he walked toward what prosecutors believe was his intended target, the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment complex, formerly known as Downtown Disney. She finally signed a 12-page statement that outlined her knowledge of Mateen's planning and his idolization of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

Salman's attorneys argued that their client was not an accomplice but a simple-minded victim of her husband's infidelity and lies.

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