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Trial for widow of Orlando nightclub shooter to start in March

The trial for Noor  Salman, the widow of Pulse gunman Omar Mateen, will start on March 1, 2018. She faces charges of aiding and abetting her husband and obstruction of justice. [Facebook]

The trial for Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse gunman Omar Mateen, will start on March 1, 2018. She faces charges of aiding and abetting her husband and obstruction of justice. [Facebook]

ORLANDO — Attorneys who are prosecuting and defending Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse gunman Omar Mateen, were back in court Thursday morning.

A federal judge said he would begin sending out jury summonses on Sept. 1 for the trial of the wife of Pulse gunman Omar Mateen.

The trial won't start until March 1, 2018, said U.S. District Judge Paul Byron, but he plans to send out summonses and questionnaires on Sept. 1 to 800 to 1,000 people. He and attorneys will then sort through them and cull those who are not qualified or would be dismissed.

The questionnaires will likely be 20 to 25 pages, he said.

Mateen is the security guard who opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub, on June 12, killing 49 people and injuring at least 68 others.

Salman is charged with helping him and with obstruction of justice. She says she's not guilty.

In paperwork filed Wednesday the U.S. Attorney's Office and defense attorneys asked a judge to delay her trial for nine months and push it back to March.

Prosecutors also are asking the judge to sign an order prohibiting the public release of evidence that the government and defense attorneys collect.

"Unrestricted disclosure of discovery in this case could adversely impact both the privacy of victims and witnesses and the course of the proceedings . . . due to unnecessary pre-trial disclosure," according to paperwork filed by W. Stephen Muldrow, acting United States attorney for the Middle District of Florida, which includes Orlando.

At Salman's arraignment in Orlando last week, U.S. Magistrate Karla Spaulding set a tentative trial date of June 5, but in their pleadings filed Wednesday, attorneys for both sides proposed a schedule for the exchange of evidence and other pretrial matters.

It recommends that the judge schedule the trial to begin in March 2018 and estimates it would last 25 days.

Salman is being held without bail.

©2017 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Trial for widow of Orlando nightclub shooter to start in March 04/20/17 [Last modified: Thursday, April 20, 2017 12:50pm]
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