The widow of Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen was found not guilty Friday by a jury of her peers clear across the country in California. In what will be the only trial to stem from the deadly June 2016 shooting rampage which left 49 people dead and 53 injured in the Florida nightclub because of their sexual preferences.
The jury foreman for the California trial released a statement Friday afternoon on her acquittal:
“Having said that, I want to a make several things very clear. A verdict of not guilty did not mean that we thought Noor Salman was unaware of what Omar Mateen was planning to do. On the contrary we were convinced she did know.
She may not have known what day , or what location, but she knew. However, we were not tasked with deciding if she was aware of a potential attack. The charges were aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice.
I felt both the prosecution and the defense did an excellent job presenting their case. I wish that the FBI had recorded their interviews with Ms. Salman as there were several significant inconsistencies with the written summaries of her statements.
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.”
After the official statement, Salman left the Orange County Jail around 1 p.m. on Friday. Only about two hours after the jury found her not guilty of obstruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization. When she walked out she refused to answer questions from the media as she clung to the arm of her attorney as they walked to a waiting car and left.
Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued Salman knew about Mateen’s guns, his affinity for violent Muslim extremist videos and his intention to attack a location, but did nothing to stop him.
BREAKING: Noor Salman, widow of #PulseNightClub Shooter found NOT GUILTY of aiding and abetting her husband and NOT GUILTY of obstruction of justice.
— Bailey Myers (@BaileyMyers_) March 30, 2018
Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued that Salman and her husband scouted out potential targets together, some of which even including Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex. And that she was very aware her husband was buying ammunition for his AR-15 in preparation for a jihadi style attack against the LGBTQ community. Not to mention that she was also very away that her husband had a sick fascination with violent jihadi videos and an affinity for Islamic State group websites.
The defense, in turn, argued that Salman is a simple woman with a low IQ who was abused by her husband And that she didn’t know of his plans because he concealed much of his life from her. Her attorney Charles Swift argued 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 because his intended target was the Disney Springs complex.
Yes, they actually used the excuse that the women was too stupid to understand what her husband was up to and they won. Only in California can an injustice like this happen. They must have used the same exact jury which found Kate Steinle’s killer innocent in San Francisco.
Read more about this ruling by Spectrum News:
After more than two weeks of listening to expert testimony, the jury has found Pulse gunman’s wife Noor Salman not guilty of all charges — obstruction of justice and aiding her husband Omar Mateen of the nightclub attack.
Prosecutors came out of the federal court building in Orlando to read a brief statement, saying they were disappointed in the jury’s verdict, but thanked them for “their hard work in this case.”
If she was found guilty, Salman could have faced 20 years in prison for obstruction of justice and life imprisonment for aiding and abetting and providing material support to a terrorist organization.
Her defense attorneys are not sure if Salman will return to her son on Friday, but she was released from the Orange County Jail hours after the verdict was read.
Her lawyers also stated that they had faith in her innocence.
“There was no point in time in the government’s case that I felt we lost. That moment never came and the government did not deliver on its promises. The more we learned, the better Noor Salman looked,” said lead defense attorney Charles Swift at a separate press conference in front of the federal court building.
Swift blasted the FBI for not recording interviews with Salman and said the FBI should join local law enforcement in video recording all interrogations.
The defense team described the powerful feelings that were felt when the verdict was announced, with Salman was calm but the lawyers themselves were overwhelmed with emotions. They said there will be rejoicing for Salman’s being found not guilty, but also sorrow because she has been in prison for a long time.