After more than two weeks of testimony, a 12-member jury has found Noor Salman not guilty of aiding her husband, Pulse nightclub attack perpetrator Omar Mateen.

Family members erupted in quick, muted celebrations just as the verdict on each charge was read in Orlando federal court Friday. Judge Paul Bryon had insisted that emotions be kept in check.

The family members let out a large gasp of relief as the verdict from the first, more serious charge of aiding and abetting was read.

After the court learned both counts were not guilty, lead defense attorney Charles Swift turned around to look at family with tears welling up in his eyes. Linda Moreno, another defense attorney, appeared to fight back emotions as the third member of the team, Fritz Scheller, embraced Salman.

Prosecutors said they were disappointed in the jury's verdict, but they thanked them for "their hard work in this case."

If she was found guilty, Salman could have faced 20 years in prision for obstruction of justice, as well as life imprisonment for aiding and abetting and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Her defense attorneys wouldn't say whether Salman would immediately return to her son, but she was released from the Orange County Jail hours after the verdict was read.

They also said they had faith in her innocence. 

"There was no point in time in the government's case that I felt we lost," Swift said in a news conference outside. "That moment never came, and the government did not deliver on its promises.

"The more we learned, the better Noor Salman looked."

Pulse nightclub owner Barbara Poma urged people affected by the attack to continue to find peace in their hearts.

"This verdict cannot and will not divide us. The survivors, families, and first responders as well as the community of Orlando and everyone around the world must now focus on the work ahead of us," she said in a statement. "We will always carry the pain of what happened at Pulse, and we will never forget those who were taken. We will wrap our arms around all affected today and in the days to come," she said.

Jury members speak to Spectrum News 13

The jury foreman, who declined to give his name, told Spectrum News 13 exclusively that he thought federal prosecutors didn't provide enough proof that Salman was involved in any way with the attack.

"The law is very specific in the way that it’s worded, and we just felt the prosecution didn’t provide sufficient proof to meet the burden of proof required by the letter of the law," he said.

"It was a difficult decision," he added. "We had to follow the letter of the law with the evidence that we were provided. Obviously, it wasn't an instant decision. And we spent a lot of time coming up with our verdict."

He was sympathetic to family and friends of Pulse victims who might feel angry that justice was not served.

"It would be a natural reaction," the juror said. "But all I can say is that we did our duty. We did the due diligence and we came up with the decision that based on the constraints that we were given, we had to come up with.

"This was not an emotional decision. We did what we were charged to do."

Another juror said statements that Salman made to the FBI and Mateen's actions before the attack were not enough to prove she was guilty.

"I won't speak for anybody else, but it (a decision) was pretty cut and dry for me," he told Spectrum News 13 as he left the courthouse in downtown Orlando. 

Other Salman family, friends react

Salman family spokeswoman Susan Clary said the family expressed sorrow for friends and victims of the June 2016 Pulse nightclub attack, which left 49 people dead.

But "Noor can go home to her son now," Clary said, adding that she has been in jail for a year and a half. Her son has been living with Salman's mother in California.

Clary also thanked defense attorneys who took on the case for free.

"They were not doing this as a job, but they really believed in her innocence," she said.

Noor Salman's uncle was overjoyed with the news that she was found not guilty of charges that she aided and abetted Mateen, as well as obstructing justice for lying to FBI investigators.

"I want to say, 'Thank you. Thank you, Lord, for keeping my niece free.' I want to thank the judge, the jury, our wonderful staff," Al Salman said. "I want to thank them all. We're looking forward to taking my niece and hiring the best therapist for her. I don't know how we're going to make up for the last two years."

People gather at Pulse to reflect

A few small groups of people turned out at Pulse nightclub on South Orange Avenue in the hours after the jury reached a verdict.

Being here at Pulse "really, definitely hits home," said Will Hilton, who had driven to Orlando from Jacksonville. "It's very unfortunate that someone would be so evil and full of hate and just come in a do such a thing."

"At the end of the day, I'm a strong believer of faith. Once we pass away, you're going to get your judgment at the end of the day. Whatever the verdict is, good or bad, they're going to get what they deserve," Hilton said.

Christy Nelson of North Carolina said Salman was just as guilty as Mateen.

"I believe it's not a gun problem, it's a hate problem," Nelson said. "People have too much hate in their hearts." But "she knew exactly what he was doing. ... She's just as guilty. ... She should be in prison."

Legal expert: Prosecution's argument had holes

David Haas, a federal criminal defense attorney and former State Attorney who's not involved with the case, said the government's argument just wasn't strong enough to sway all jurors.

"It wasn't as strong of evidence as you sat there and listened to it. ... In the end, the government finally got to what Noor Salman had done, but there were some holes. There were some areas where defense lawyers could capitalize in showing that what she did wasn't enough."

"And the jury clearly believed that she didn't do enough to help Omar Mateen commit that attack."

During the trial, prosecutors told jurors that Mateen's attack was initially focused Disney Springs, with Mateen planning to hide an assault rifle using a stroller and baby doll. They said Mateen changed his target to Pulse only after being deterred by a large amount of security at Disney.

"The tragedy really (was) for those families really being a crime of opportunity than the strategy of going to Pulse," Haas said.