Noor Salman trial: Opening statements, first witnesses

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The Noor Salman trial began Wednesday with a reminder to the jury from the federal judge — Salman is innocent until prosecutors prove her guilty.Opening statements start in Noor Salman trial JUMP TO: LIVE updates ▼RELATED:Noor Salman trial: Defense: Shooter only attacked Pulse because it was soft targetNoor Salman trial: As jury selection continues, new details about shooter emergesNoor Salman trial: Some jurors share connection to Pulse attackVIDEO: Mother of Pulse victim shares why she’s attending Noor Salman’s trialVideo of Pulse shooting released in Noor Salman hearingNoor Salman’s attorneys raise concerns with evidence allowed at trialREAD UNSEALED DOCUMENTS:Defense motion to request experts to speak to Salman’s mental state, previous testimony (PDF)Government’s motion to exclude defense witnesses (PDF)Defendant’s motions to preclude improper argument in government’s opening statementSalman is accused of knowing about her husband, Omar Mateen’s, plans to carry out the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, and of helping him.In opening statements, federal prosecutor James Mandolfo said they had evidence that Salman’s “encouragement of Omar Mateen” enabled him to carry out his attack. “This trial isn’t about what she knew,” Mandolfo said. “It’s about what she did to help.” Mandolfo also accused Salman of making false statements to hide her involvement in the case. Salman’s attorney, Linda Moreno, however, called Mateen a monster who kept Salman in the dark about his other life. “Noor Salman was not Mateen’s partner, peer and certainly not his confidant,” Moreno said. Moreno said claims by prosecutors that Salman went with her husband to scout out locations only proves that went on family trips, but Salman had no idea what was going on in Mateen’s head.Moreno also said the FBI manipulated a vulnerable woman with a low IQ to get the statement from her they wanted. “They will ask you to rely on the recollection of FBI Agents,” Moreno said. “They were able to manipulate and coerce her…remember trusting simple Noor Salman with an IQ of 84.”Witness testimony beginsThe first witnesses for prosecutors set the story of the Pulse nightclub attack on June 12, 2016. OFFICER ADAM GRULEROrlando Police Officer Adam Gruler was the first to testify. He was one of the first officers to respond to the attack. Jurors also watched dash vam video of law enforcement pulling up to the club, where the sounds of rapid gunfire could be heard.Gruler described the scene inside the nightclub:“When I entered the club there were people down,” Gruler said.“No matter where we were we were stepping in blood.”BOBBIE RODRIGUEZBobbie Rodriguez was in a women’s bathroom at Pulse at the time of the shooting, and was forced to hide under a dead man’s body and pretend she was dead herself to prevent from being shot.Rodriguez testified about a conversation she overheard Mateen have with someone on the phone during the attack. She testified that she heard Mateen call someone “bro” and telling them to “light it up,” referring to a bomb vest, should police come inside.Jurors then heard several phone calls by victims as the shooting unfolded. JESSICA BROOKSFormer 911 dispatcher Jessica Brookes took several calls related to the shooting, including one from Mateen himself, which was played for the court. MATTHEW GENTILIThe fourth witness was Spectrum News 13 producer Matthew Gentili, who took a call from Mateen at the station the night of the attack. He related the details of that conversation. STORY FROM 2016ANDREW BRENANOrlando police crisis negotiator Andrew Brenan talked about the conversations he had with Mateen, as they police tried to identify him, determine if his claims that people were prepared to detonate bombs in the surrounding area, and anyone else Matten may have known or may have helped him.Judge Paul Byron spent over a week picking a jury for the trial. Several people had to be excused because they had connections to the Pulse attack, while others were excused because of their feelings about Islam.Live Blog LIVE UPDATES: Noor Salman Trial
Source: MyNews13