Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Robot Strips Omar Marteen

 There is some sensitive content and disturbing details included within. If you feel you may be affected, please do not read this post.

National media interest in the Noor Salman trial dwindled drastically on day two of witness testimonies. The national media might consider this case to be a consolation prize since the gunman Omar Marteen was killed at the club and thus can not be convicted. The prosecution entered the courtroom carrying long yellow boxes full of evidence. I wondered if the boxes were full of guns.

Special Agent Paul Castillo took the stand. He is a bomb technician who operated the robots that entered the club on the evening of the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. Mateen had made claims to a negotiator by phone that he had bombs, so special care had to be taken when clearing the club. The robot with a camera saw wires coming from under Omar's body. The many bodies on the floor made navigating the robots through the club difficult. It was determined that the wires were from an exit sign that had fallen to the floor when the swat team blew a hole in the bathroom wall to breach the club and kill Mateen, not from a bomb within his pants.

Pictures from the robot showed Omar's lifeless body with his face contorted in a grimace of pain. The robot manipulated the body and removed the gunman's blood soaked pants. A Glock handgun was found near the body along with a knife. A robot was also used to check Omar's rental van that was parked near Pulse. The gunman had claimed that the he had bombs and if the van was full of explosives it could have caused damage and devastation to several city blocks. The van was cleared by 10:30 AM.

The Orange County medical examiner Dr. Joshua Stephany's testimony was short and concise. He testified about collecting the 37 bodies from inside the club, one body from the club patio, along with two bodies in the parking lot behind Einstein Bagels. 9 victims arrived at Orlando Regional Medical Center dead or died shortly there after. All the victims were taken to the medical examiner's office at Michigan and Bumby. The autopsy reports describe every gunshot would in terms of how the bullets entered the body and how they exited the body.

Officer Brett Chabot described his recovery of four receipts from a dumpster outside the home of Omar Mateen and Noor Salman. A dumpster is public property, so a warrant isn't needed to do the search. Brett executed the dumpster diving.

He responded to Mateen's home and was with the team in charge of searching Mateen’s vehicle. He talked about receipts that were found which where for hundreds of dollars worth of ammo, jewelry, and clothes just days before the shooting. Just the fact that the receipts were being discarded tends to be incriminating, as if the couple were trying to get rid of evidence.

Omar was supplying assets for Salman since she had no money of her own. The defense attorney arguing they were just gifts since Mateen was getting a better job as a police officer. There was a heavy police presence in the Fort Pierce area surrounding their apartment for the entire day. I saw video footage that the apartment had been broken into and foreign journalists wandered through the apartment taking pictures.

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