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Salman Trial Underway After Opening Statements

United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Photo: WMFE / Brendan Byrne
United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Photo: WMFE / Brendan Byrne

The trial of the pulse gunman’s widow is underway after attorneys presented opening statements.

Opening statements are a road map of each side’s legal argument. Noor Salman is charged with aiding and abetting her husband, Omar Mateen, in the attack the killed 49 people, and obstruction of justice.

The prosecutors have to convince the jury that Salman knowingly aided her husband and lied to authorities. In his opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Mandolfo said Salman went with Mateen to scope out potential targets and helped cover up his whereabouts that night.

The defense says otherwise. Attorney Linda Moreno argued that Salman is simple, sweet and trusting while Mateen was a cheater who lied to Salman and acted alone in the attack. Moreno alleges the FBI coerced a statement from Salman the day after the shooting.

The jury and alternates of 12 women and six men began hearing testimony Wednesday from the first police officer on the scene. The trial is scheduled to last about three weeks.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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