Pulse owner attends jury selection in Noor Salman trial

49 slain at Orlando nightclub in 2016

By Richard Ochoa - Producer
Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

ORLANDO, Fla. - Pulse owner Barbara Poma appeared in federal court Tuesday as jury selection continued in the trial of the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at the Orlando nightclub in June 2016.

Noor Salman, 31, is charged with aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice after the shooting.

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen opened fire inside Pulse on Latin night, killing 49 and injuring more than 50 others. Salman was indicted on Jan. 12, 2017. Prosecutors allege that she knew about Mateen's plan to carry out the shooting and helped him prepare for it.

News 6 asked Poma if she's ready to hear about new information revealed in a motion filed Monday.

"I think so," she said. "That's what we're here for."

Poma attended the first day of jury selection but had not returned until Tuesday, Day 4 of jury selection.

The trial is being held at the Middle District of Florida Courthouse, about 2 miles from Pulse. U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron is presiding over the case.

Last Thursday, Salman's defense team and U.S. federal prosecutors began whittling down more than 600 potential jurors to the select the final 12 and several backup jury members.

On Monday, Salman's attorneys Linda Moreno and Charles Swift filed a motion asking the court to prevent the government from implying in their opening statements that Mateen targeted the gay community, saying they don't have evidence that would support that argument. The new motion shows Mateen was at Disney Springs and visited another downtown Orlando nightclub in the hours before the shooting, based on cellphone and GPS data.

Walking into court Tuesday, Moreno said she could not discuss the specifics of the motion.

"I'm feeling that this case is starting to see the light," she said, adding that the motion should speak for itself.

[5 things to know about the Pulse trial]

Part of the questions being asked of members of the jury pool are their interactions with members of the Muslim faith and if they believe the government treats them fairly.

After one juror was dismissed for saying that she thought "history has proven why" it is bad to let too many Muslims in the United States, the prosecuting attorney said he wanted to make it clear "that is not the government's case."

Moreno had followed up with the juror, asking if she could put that notion aside while on the jury.

"We are not prosecuting Ms. Salman for being Muslim," U.S. Assistant Attorney Roger Hamburg said.

The trial is expected to last about 25 days. Salman faces life in prison if convicted.

Watch News 6 for updates.

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