Noor Salman, wife of Pulse nightclub shooter, pleads not guilty
Sketch: Vicki Behrenger
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU and wires) - Noor Salman, the wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter, appeared in an Oakland courtroom Wednesday and pleaded not guilty on all counts regarding involvement in the Orlando nightclub shooting.
A bail hearing will be held for Salman on Feb. 1 to determine whether or not she can be released on bail or remain in the Santa Rita jail.
This comes after she appeared in court Tuesday after federal prosecutors had unsealed a two-count indictment against Salman.
The document says Noor Salman, between April and June of last year, "did knowingly aid and abet" her husband's attempt to support the Islamic State group.
Noor Salman's uncle spoke with reporters outside the courtroom on Tuesday morning saying, "I know she's innocent." He said Salman's husband Omar Mateen was abusive, but she did not know he was being radicalized. He added, "She's a soft, sweet girl." Salman's attorney also says Salman had no advance knowledge of the attack.
KTVU's Ted Rowlands was in court Tuesday. He said Noor Salman appeared to be trembling but it was unclear if she was nervous or cold. It appeared she was wearing what she was arrested in - pajama pants and a T-shirt. She was not handcuffed.
Salman was not facing our crew and her hair was covering her face. Ted says it was difficult to see her facial expressions as the judge asked her a number of questions.
The indictment accuses Salman of misleading police officers and FBI agents who were investigating the June 12, 2016, attack at the Pulse nightclub.
Salman's husband, Omar Mateen, died in a shootout with police after killing 49 club patrons.
Salman was arrested on Monday at her family's home in Rodeo.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said he hoped the arrest "provides some comfort to the families who are mourning their loved ones."
Neighbors say they rarely, if ever, saw Noor Salman or the son she had with Mateen.
"She may have had some thoughts about this, and if she had said something ahead of time, it might have saved some lives," neighbor Cathy Lawrence said. "She may not know anything, and I hope that's the case."
The Orlando police chief released a statement about Salman's arrest. "I am glad to see that Omar Mateen's wife has been charged with aiding and abetting her husband in the commission of the brutal attack on the Pulse nightclub," Chief John Mina said in the statement.
"Nothing can erase the pain we all feel about the senseless and brutal murders of 49 of our neighbors, friends, family members and loved ones. But today, there is some relief in knowing that someone will be held accountable for that horrific crime," Mina said.
"I wish this was something nicer happening here, but it isn't," Rodeo resident Dan Pacheco said, adding that the new notoriety attached to his neighborhood was a bit unnerving.
"It's Rodeo, a small town, so why, in this whole world, does it have to land right here? It's weird, it's a shame."