• Psychologist says Noor Salman isn't 'the brightest' as defense rests case

    By: Kelly Healey , Jason Kelly


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The defense rested its case Tuesday afternoon in the Noor Salman trial.

    Noor Salman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice.

    Read: Salman's attorneys ask judge to dismiss charges

    The case hinges on whether Salman, 31, knowingly helped Mateen plan the June 12, 2016, nightclub attack that left 49 people dead. 

    Salman's attorneys renewed their motion for acquittal Tuesday, but Judge Paul Byron denied it again.

    Photos: Remembering the victims

    Dr. Bruce Frumkin, a clinical psychologist who tested Salman last summer, was the last witness to testify Tuesday.

    He testified that Salman has an IQ of 84 -- in the lower 14 percentile -- and thus she could be easily persuaded. He told jurors that "she's not the brightest of all people."

    Frumkin said Salman is more vulnerable than the average person, which makes her “prime” for a false confession.

    "False confession testimony occurs all the time," he said. "But it's for the jury to decide. I really can't say anything more."

    Read: 9 facts about Noor Salman

    The defense has always questioned the validity of Salman’s written confession to the FBI.

    They said the confession was not recorded and was written by an FBI agent, who claimed he transcribed her statements.

    Frumkin said Salman’s confession isn't what it seems because of how immature she is and because she spent 11 hours being questioned after having slept only two hours.

    Salman's attorneys wrapped up their case by reading a statement written by Neal Whittleton, a security guard who was working at the Pulse nightclub during the massacre.

    Read: Who are the key players in Noor Salman's case?

    Whittleton said a man, who he later realized was Mateen, asked if he was working security and was trying to see if he had a gun.

    During cross examination, prosecutors pointed out that more risk factors and a low IQ could mean she's capable of giving a true confession.

    Prosecutors didn't call rebuttal witnesses, and the jury was dismissed Tuesday morning.

    "I think today really poked a lot of holes in the strongest piece of evidence that the government has leaned upon, which has been the confessions," said Susan Clary, a Salman family spokeswoman. "It's up to the jurors now."

    Photos: Courtroom sketches of Noor Salman trial

    Abdallah Salman, Noor Salman's uncle, said Tuesday that he believes his niece has received a fair trial so far.

    "In the beginning, I said, 'Oh, it's gonna happen in Orlando, where the crime happened. It's gonna be hard,'" he said. "But I don't know. I have faith in the jury."

    Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Jurors could begin deliberating the case as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

    Salman faces life in prison if convicted.

    Read: Agent testifies about what he found on gunman's phone at Pulse

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