OAKLAND, Calif. — The wife of Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen faced an Oakland judge Wednesday for a bond hearing.
The judge ruled that Noor Salman will stay in jail pending a mental evaluation before he decides if she'll be released on bail.
FBI agents arrested Salman Jan. 16 on charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice in connection with the June 12, 2016, massacre in which 49 people were killed.
Salman’s defense team argued that she should be freed because she’s been under FBI surveillance since the attack but hasn’t tried to flee.
Prosecutors said it's a different situation now because Salman faces life in prison.
Salman’s relatives said they believe that she had no knowledge of Mateen’s plans to carry out the attack.
Prosecutors said Salman at first said she knew nothing about the attack, then after further questioning, she admitted that she saw Mateen watching ISIS recruiting videos. Salman also said he watched jihad material, prosecutors said.
"The federal government has refused to provide us copies of the interview. The federal government has refused to talk to us. The government has refused to provide us copies of the interview," said Charles Swift, Salman's attorney.
Salman's defense argued that being present while the videos were played doesn't make her part of the plan and said she had no idea what Mateen was planned on the night of the attack.
"The facts show she went to sleep," Swift said.
Prosecutors argued that Salman came up with Mateen's cover story the night of the attack and that he put her name on bank accounts before the shootings.
The FBI said that proves that he knew he was going to die, and so did she.
Prosecutors also said the couple spent $30,000 between June 1-11, almost Mateen's yearly salary.
"That apparently is the government's theory, that a special ed student who they could get to confess after 18 hours was actually a brilliant mastermind," Swift said.
Documents filed by Salman’s defense team said she was an “unwilling passenger” during the one time she and Mateen went on a scouting trip to the nightclub.
Prosecutors said Salman helped Mateen case Pulse, then went to CityPlace in West Palm Beach on June 6 and to Downtown Disney on June 8.
The documents said they were traveling home from babysitting a relative’s children when Mateen chose to drive to Orlando.
Salman said she didn’t know that he was buying bullets during a trip to Walmart for anything other than his security guard job, according to the documents.
Her attorneys said Salman was an abused woman who stayed with her husband only because he threatened to kill her and take her son away.
Linda Moreno, Salman's defense attorney, called the case against her client thin and based on speculation.
"We were surprised at the presentation of the government's case," she said. "We frankly expected more."
One positive outcome of Wednesday's hearing was that the prosecution admitted that Salman was not dangerous, Moreno said.
"When the government was asked directly by the judge if they have any specific evidence that Noor Salman posed a threat to the community, thankfully they said no, because there is no evidence," Moreno said.
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