Trial begins for Noor Salman, widow of Pulse gunman Omar Mateen
ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - In the weeks leading up to the Pulse Nightclub massacre, federal prosecutors said Noor Salman, the wife of gunman Omar Mateen, scouted several different locations for a possible mass shooting.
They also claim she went along for the ride as Mateen spent thousands of dollars on guns and ammunition and put her name as the death beneficiary on his bank account -- ultimately giving him the green light to commit terrorism on behalf of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS.
In the hours after the massacre, on June 12, 2016, prosecutors said Salman changed her story several times, but she eventually signed a confession, adding a hand-written apology for not alerting the police about the planned attack.
Susan Clary, spokesperson for Salman, said the government has it all wrong. Salman has been described as a naive, loving mother who is only guilty of marrying a monster. Her defenders said she was manipulated into signing a confession for the FBI and that's why the jury will never see or hear it.
"Here, they had a woman they believe was aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. They didn't audio record, they didn't' video record," said Clary.
The jury did get it hear and see the horror inside Pulse through video recorded by Orlando Torres, a survivor who was inside a restroom at the time of the shooting. That victim's friend, Bobby Rodriguez, testified that the two survived by pulling a dead stranger's body over their bodies, and played dead as Mateen stood just feet away, screaming his allegiance to ISIS.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks. It's expected to be intense, as jurors will see graphic evidence and hear testimony from Mateen's victims.