Jury pool nearly filled in trial of Pulse nightclub shooter’s widow

Credit: Gerardo Mora

Credit: Gerardo Mora

seventh day of jury selection ended Friday in the trial of the widow of a man who fatally shot 49 people and injured dozens more in a 2016 attack at a Florida nightclub.

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The case hinges on whether Noor Salman knowingly helped her husband, Omar Mateen, plan the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She faces charges of aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice.

Jury selection ended Friday one potential juror shy of the necessary 56 people. Of the 55 people who have been admitted into the jury pool, 34 are women and 21 are men.

Friday was the second day of jury selection that Christine Leinonen has attended. Her son was killed in the mass shooting.

"It was only after the judge went in that I realized that I had been looking face to face with the killer's wife. It was hard," she said. "I will live with whatever the verdict is. I will live with it, because you have to live with it."

Defense attorneys on Friday asked the judge for makeup and new clothes for Salman for next week. He agreed.

The judge will narrow the jury pool to a panel of 18 people who will hear the case -- 12 jurors and four alternates. He said he expects the jury to be selected by Monday.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday.

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