• Judge rules on crucial evidence in Noor Salman trial

    By: Ken Tyndall


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The trial of the Pulse shooter's wife is set to start next week.

    The judge ruled on some crucial evidence the jury deciding Noor Salman's fate will see.

    In the judge's order, which was released Wednesday, there are some rulings for the defense and others for the government.

    Pulse trial: Noor Salman defense wants certain evidence thrown out

    The evidence includes video from the night of the Pulse terror attack, including police bodycam video, which the defense attorneys wanted to be kept out of the trial.

    The judge ruled limited video will be allowed in court, but not images of police removing bodies of the victims from the club.

    And the jury will not see certain video of police taking their positions outside as they secured the perimeter.

    Pulse trial: Police body camera, surveillance video allowed in courtroom

    "The court's allowing just enough of that video in evidence to allow the government to prove their case, but to not deny her a fair trial,” said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer. 

    Salman appeared in federal court for a hearing last month as both sides made arguments about what evidence the jury would see.

    She faces charges of aiding a former terrorist organization and obstruction of justice.

    The judge ruled the jury will be allowed to hear about text messages sent between Salman and Mateen.

    "Those statements are important for the government to show that she participated in a cover story to allow him to commit the shooting,” Sheaffer said.

    Read: Psychologist who examined widow of Pulse gunman can testify at trial, judge rules

    And the judge will allow 911 calls made by Mateen, including the one where Mateen said, "You're speaking with the person who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State."

    "It's important that the government show this was a terrorist attack, because she's charged with having provided assistance in that attack,” Sheaffer said. 

    The bottom line, Sheaffer says, is that the evidence that won't be allowed in court does not appear to jeopardize the government's case.

    The trial is set to begin March 1.

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