ORLANDO, Fla. -- A Florida jury deliberated for just over 12 hours beforeof the Pulse nightclub shooter. Noor Salman was charged with obstruction and providing support to a terrorist organization. She could have faced life in prison. But on Friday, she left the courthouse a free woman.
"We just felt that the prosecution didn't provide sufficient proof to meet the burden of proof required by the letter of the law," the jury foreman said.
One survivor of the shooting described what it was like to hear the words "not guilty."
"It was heartbreaking," said Neema Bahrami. "Immediately my mind went to the 49 family members, of how they didn't get the justice they needed, that a little bit of justice they needed today."
Salman sobbed after the "not guilty" verdict was read, as did her relatives, including her uncle Al Salman.
"I say that day one she is innocent," he said. "I will stand here in front of you when the jury comes with the verdict to tell you 'I told you so.' I now I come here to tell you 'I told you so, it's innocent.'"
The government's attorneys tried to prove Salman knew her husband, Omar Mateen, was planning the June 2016 attack that killed 49 people. Prosecutors said she was with Mateen when he purchased ammunition and cased possible locations like Disney Springs and that she told the FBI she knew his intentions.
But defense attorneys said those statements were coerced, and there was no audio or video tape of the interrogation.
Salman did not testify in her defense. Her family says that after spending a year in jail awaiting trial, her priority is to be reunited with her five-year-old son.
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