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Yolanda Saldivar Trial: 1995

Killing Follows Embezzlement Accusations

Rumors had circulated among boutique staff about Saldivar's mismanagement of money since Selena had elevated her to boutique manager. Bills went unpaid. Books appeared cooked. Saldivar had a record of stealing money from a previous employer and had not paid back loans for nursing school. Selena refused to believe that her faithful confidant was embezzling; Quintanilla was convinced and furious about it.

On March 9, 1995, he confronted Saldivar, demanding to know where missing money had gone not only from the boutique but from the fan club. Saldivar had no answers. Quintanilla threatened to pursue the matter legally.

In response, Saldivar bought a. 38-caliber revolver from a gunstore in San Antonio where she lived. Saldivar claimed she bought the gun to protect herself from Quintanilla, who had trumped up the embezzlement charges to get rid of her. During the trial, the defense contended Saldivar bought the weapon to kill herself. She actually had put the gun to her head to do so when Selena arrived at her Days Inn room in Corpus Christi. But in a terrible turn of events, Saldivar accidentally shot the singer instead.

In his opening statement to jurors, court-appointed defense attorney Doug "The Stinker" Tinker said that as Selena entered the hotel room, Saldivar motioned with the hand in which she held the gun for Selena to shut the door. As the singer turned to do so, the gun accidentally discharged. A single bullet struck Selena in the back near the right shoulder.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to PresentYolanda Saldivar Trial: 1995 - A Rising Star, Killing Follows Embezzlement Accusations, Trial Focuses On Shooting Aftermath