A federal judge in California agreed Wednesday to release on bail the widow of the man who killed 49 people in a shooting rampage at an Orlando nightclub last year.
Noor Salman, 31, is accused of aiding in the attack and misleading police and FBI special agents after the carnage. Salman could face life in prison if convicted of the charges. No trial date has been set.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina said he disappointed in the ruling by Judge Donna Ryu.
"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," Mina said in a statement. "But I have full faith that she will ultimately be brought to justice."
Salman's husband, Omar Mateen, called a local TV station and 911 to "pledge allegiance" to the Islamic State during the siege at Pulse nightclub June 12. He died in a confrontation with police.
Salman, who married Mateen in 2011, grew up about 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. She must wear an ankle monitor and live with an uncle in Northern California.
Salman was arrested last month at her Northern California home on charges of aiding and abetting. She is also charged with obstruction of justice for her dealings with authorities after the attack. Her lawyers have claimed Salman had no prior knowledge of the rampage.
Salman, in interviews with federal investigators after the shooting, allegedly acknowledged driving Mateen to the Pulse nightclub at least once before her husband launched the assault. But she told The New York Times in November she was unaware of his intentions until he sent her a 4 a.m. text message the night of the shooting, asking whether she had seen what happened on the news.
The last message from her husband was a text saying, “I love you babe.”