A trial for Noor Salman – widow of gunman Omar Mateen who opened fire at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people – is set to begin on Thursday with opening statements by both sides.
Salman, 31, faces up to life in prison if she is convicted in the U.S. District Court in Orlando for aiding her husband and obstructing a federal investigation into the June 12, 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub.
Salman was at home with the couple’s then-3-year-old son during the shooting rampage, which ended with Mateen’s death in an exchange of gunfire with police. But prosecutors say she knew of her husband’s plans and did nothing to stop him.
The trial, which is expected to last for a month, will take place at the Orlando courthouse where protesters have been gathering during jury selection to call for a guilty verdict.
Although Salman initially told investigators that her husband acted without her knowledge, she later acknowledged being aware that her husband was watching Islamic State recruitment videos, had purchased an assault rifle and examined three possible attack locations.
Salman’s attorneys claimed that the U.S. government could not show any direct links between Mateen and Islamic State before the attack and has provided no evidence that Salman aided her husband.
“It was Mateen, not Noor, who decided to attack the Pulse Night Club, Mateen who chose to drive to the club, Mateen who purchased the weapon and ammunition, and Mateen who alone carried out the attack,” the defense lawyers said in court papers filed on Tuesday.
Salman was indicted on two charges: obstruction of justice for alleged false statements to federal investigators, and aiding and abetting Mateen in his attempt to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
***UPDATE: PULSE GUNMAN’S WIDOW NOT FOUND GUILTY***
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