Noor Salman statements in hands of Orlando federal judge

By Jerry Hume and Bailey Myers, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Friday, December 22, 2017, 4:50 PM EST

An Orlando federal judge is now deciding which statements made by Noor Salman, the Pulse gunman's wife, to law enforcement can be used at her upcoming trial.

  • Judge to decide which statements by Noor Salman will be heard in court
  • Salman is wife of Pulse shooter Omar Mateen
  • She's charged with aiding and abetting her husband
  • 2-day hearing in Orlando federal court to decide on statements
  • RELATED: Pulse shooter's wife gets emotional during crucial hearing

A crucial two-day hearing wrapped up Friday morning at the U.S. District Court in downtown Orlando. Attorneys from both sides made their closing arguments in the hearing to suppress evidence against Salman.  

Lawyers for Salman filed a motion to suppress statements she made to law enforcement in the hours following the June 12, 2016 nightclub attack.

The U.S. attorneys relied on the testimony from law enforcement and FBI agents, who were the first to talk with Salman outside her Ft. Pierce home in the early morning hours following the Pulse Nightclub attack on June 12.

Prosecutors argued that throughout her encounter with law enforcement Salman voluntarily consented to talk outside her apartment, stay in a cop car for a period of time and talk to police before voluntarily riding with FBI agents to their headquarters for futher questioning.

They say Salman admitted she knew what was going to happen at Pulse nightclub and she didn’t do anything to stop it. The prosecuters argued she voluntarily provided information they now believe to be evidence that she knew about her husband's intentions and supported him through it.    

However, Salman’s attorneys say she was not arrested nor read her Miranda rights prior to the statements, so they should not be allowed at her trial.

"Those statements that she made are essential, and that's going to be a large part of this entire case," said Orlando lawyer Mark Nejame, who is not involved with the trial. "Her words are basically the noose that could be tied around her neck. Also, if those statements go away, it may be very hard to prosecute her."

Salman's defense attorneys argued she was in a situation where she felt she was being detained by law enforcement and said all those statements she made were illegally obtained because she was never arrested, but felt forced to provide them with answers to their questions.

In court on Thursday, a FBI agent testified Salman changed her story after polygraph results came in, and she admitted to being with her husband, Omar Mateen, when he drove around Pulse the week before.

Judge Paul Byron said he will review the testimony and the arguments and render a decision in the near future. However, the case will move forward to trial in early 2018.

Salman has been charged with obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terror group during the massacre.

There was some discussion about Salman taking the stand during the suppression hearing, but ultimately, her attorneys decided not to have her testify.