Widow of Pulse nightclub gunman cleared of charges

ORLANDO - An Orlando jury on Friday cleared the widow of the Pulse nightclub gunman of all charges in the massacre that killed 49 people, finding her not guilty of federal counts that she tried to mislead investigators and aided her husband in the attack.

Noor Salman, 31, could have faced up to life in prison had she been convicted of federal charges of obstruction of justice and aiding Mateen in providing support to the Islamic State militant group.

Instead the jury in U.S. District Court acquitted Salman after roughly 12 hours of deliberation since Wednesday.

Mateen died in an exchange of gunfire with police at Pulse, a gay nightspot. At the time, Salman was home with the couple?s then 3-year-old son.

The acquittal is likely to be an emotional blow for the survivors.