Things That Matter

Tejano Music Icon Selena’s Murderer Is Asking For A New Trial After Accusing Prosecutor Of Hiding Evidence

Yolanda Saldívar, the woman convicted of killing the iconic singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, is demanding a new trial. In an exclusive interview with Radar Online, the late “reina de Tejano music’s” former fan club president alleges there is evidence that could free her from her lifetime sentence for the 1995 murder.

Saldívar claims that the prosecutor in her case, Carlos Valdez, has been holding exculpatory material evidence.

According to Saldívar, it is proof that is favorable to the defendant and shows that Valdez did not disclose to the defense or the jury in the trial for Selena’s 1995 murder more than two decades ago. She says that Valdez discussed the alleged evidence, a pair of high top white Reebok sneakers and a black baseball cap, during an interview with Spanish-language media.

“The Petitioner paraphrases Mr. Valdez’s media interview where he stated that he and the defense counsel, the late Mr. Douglas Tinker, discussed what [evidence] would or would not be introduced to the jury,” reads court paperwork of a Second Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Saldívar on March 28, 2019.

“How could this be? It is the jury, no less, that would decide the fate of the Petitioner, between [life] in prison and [freedom]. The jury, NOT the defense or the prosecutor is the trier of fact of all relevant material evidence and they alone should and DID determine between conviction and acquittal,” she writes.

In layman terms, Saldívar contends that allegedly relevant evidence in her case wasn’t presented to the jury.

This information is obligatory, and suggests that leaving out the information was “a nefarious attempt to obscure a verdict against the Petitioner.” According to her, including the hat and shoes in the evidence could impact the case against her.

In the interview, Valdez passively says that Saldívar was wearing the bloody hat and sneakers. He attests that Saldívar stepped in Selena’s trail of blood as she followed the late singer running for her life. However, Saldívar, who claimed the shooting was accidental, asked that if the shoes and bloodstains on them could prove she committed the crime, then why did the prosecution exclude them as evidence.

“The prosecutor, Mr. Valdez, presented evidence of the trail of blood he states the victim left behind as she ran 130 yards (390 feet) from the room to the front lobby of the motel,” the court papers read. “The ‘withholding’ of the victim’s shoes (i.e. White Reebok Tennis Shoes) are of a great consequence because if it is as Mr. Valdez claimed in his March 16, 2018 interview that the Petitioner ‘stepped’ on victim’s blood as she followed the victim, then ‘intent’ would have been proven or disproven. For 23 years, the jury nor the defense knew that such shoes existed.” 

She continued, saying she had “no doubt” the prosecutor “impaired the verity of the evidence by not only withholding the evidence but claiming that those tennis shoes belonged to the defendant, inciting and infecting the public’s sediment even more against the Petitioner before, during and now with his recent media interview.”

Saldívar went as far as accusing Valdez of knowing “those tennis shoes belonged to the victim” and said “withholding them helped get the conviction of the Petitioner practicing a travesty of justice to the rule of law and violating the constitutional rights of the Petitioner.”

Despite her demands, however, Saldívar’s case was dismissed without prejudice because the Petitioner filed the petition in district court and must seek permission from the Fifth Circuit.

Saldívar, a former nurse, founded Selena’s fan club in San Antonio. She became the club’s president and was later also promoted to manager of the late artist’s clothing boutiques, Selena, Etc. 

In 1995, six years after Saldívar had started the club, Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, was receiving complaints from fans that they weren’t receiving their paid items and heard rumors from fellow employees that Saldívar had been embezzling money from both the fan club and the boutiques. As a result, Saldívar was fired. 

On March 31 of the same year, Selena met with Saldívar at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi to retrieve financial records Saldívar had been refusing to give to the Quintanilla family. While the “Como La Flor” singer was leaving the motel room, Saldívar shot her in the back, severing an artery. Selena, in critical condition, ran toward the motel lobby. Before collapsing, an employee claims the songstress named Saldívar as her shooter.

Selena was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. 

At the time, she was 23 years old. Soon after, at the Days Inn, Saldívar was in a nine-hour-long standoff with the police, calling the shooting an accident and threatening to kill herself before she was arrested.

On October 23, 1995, jurors found Saldívar guilty of first-degree murder. Three days later, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole in 30 years — the maximum prison term in Texas at the time. She is currently serving her time at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas. She will become eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.

Read: Netflix Officially Cast The Role Of Selena Quintanilla And ‘Twilight’ Fans Will Be Thrilled

Selena Quintanilla’s Family Decided That ‘Fiesta De La Flor’ Will No Longer Take Place In Corpus Christi, Where Is It Moving To Next?

Entertainment

Selena Quintanilla’s Family Decided That ‘Fiesta De La Flor’ Will No Longer Take Place In Corpus Christi, Where Is It Moving To Next?

@fiestaflorcc

Even after her death, Selena Quintanilla’s music has lived on. The iconic Tex-Mex superstar left a legacy that is still very much alive. Her music is still being played on the radio and streamed online, her face is sold on T-shirts and other merch around the world, her story continues to inspire new TV and Movie projects. And yet, for some reason, the Quintanilla’s Fiesta de la Flor Festival —an annual music event in honor of Selena— isn’t being held at Selena’s hometown Corpus Christi, or at all.

The Quintanilla family announced that the yearly festival honoring Selena’s legacy will no longer be held in Corpus Christi.

credit Instagram @fiestaflorcc

Corpus Christi is synonymous with Selena Quintanilla. The coastal Texas city is where the singer lived and died, it’s also where her family continues to live to this day. In Corpus Christi, Selena fans can visit a museum dedicated entirely to the Queen of Tex-Mex. And for the past five years, the city had also been host to the family held festival, ‘Fiesta de la Flor’. The Quintanillas announced recently, however, that the festival will no longer take place in Corpus Christi. No word yet on where the festival might move to yet.

The news came in a media release from Q Productions.

Credit Instagram @abquintanilla

“Unfortunately, even beautiful journeys must come to an end. In Selena’s beautiful spirit, the Selena Foundation has contributed thousands of dollars to organizations in Corpus Christi for the betterment of the community. The Selena Foundation is committed to continuing Selena’s belief that the impossible is possible.” Much of the rest of the statement was dedicated to thanking a long list of organizations, including the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, for their support in the last five years.

No word yet on where the festival may land, if anywhere.

credit Instagram @fiestaflorcc

No further information was disclosed about where the festival might be taking place. Or whether it will happen at all. Why did they pull the plug from the Corpus Christi? Back in August, it was reported that the family had threatened to stop celebrating the festival in Corpus Christi because of money issues. It was speculated that the amount of money the city was generating from the festival was disproportionately larger than what the Selena Foundation was receiving. 

According to Corpus Christi Caller Times, this year, for the first time since the inception of the festival in 2015, Fiesta de la Flor did not bring in a profit. The festival generates an estimated “$10.8 million economic impact for the city every year,” yet the Selena Foundation has made less than $100,000 in the four years of the festival.

Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO quit after being criticized for giving the Quintanillas a larger sum of money than what been agreed before.

credit Twitter @Kris6news

The Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Paulette Kluge said that the amount was unacceptable. She said that “the city is making millions of dollars.” Because the bureau is now taking $50,000 from the festival to the foundation, that concludes the festival has no profit to report for this year. “Everybody is benefiting except the Selena Foundation, and they said, ‘It is unacceptable, and if we don’t get something for the Selena Foundation, there will not be another Fiesta de la Flor,’ ” Kluge said, according to the Caller Times. “So I agreed to pay them $35,000 last year, which was all of our profits, and $50,000 moving forward.”

Paulette Kluge recently resigned to her post at the bureau after being criticized for changing the contract with the Quintanillas —raising the family’s profits for the upcoming festival by $15,000—  without input from other officials. Kluge had the legal power to rewrite a contract that she was instrumental in creating. But the CVB Board and City Council were not happy with the new terms. Kluge is credited with building a relationship with the Quintanillas which would later lead to the birth of Fiesta de La Flor.

The two-day festival celebrating the queen of Tejano, had been held in Selena’s hometown for 5 years.

credit Instagram @fiestaflorcc

The festival began in 2015 and has brought about $15 million in economic benefit to the city each year. Formerly sponsored by Citgo, the next festival had a new benefactor lined up. Hermann and Hermann, a law firm based out of Corpus Christi with offices in San Antonio and McAllen, signed on to be the 2020 sponsor.

Corpus Christi Caller Times reported that when reached for information, the Quintanilla family and Q Productions declined to comment. Which leaves us with many unresolved questions. There is no website for the foundation. A quick Google search showed a 2016 article in which it says that the foundation was formed to honor Selena’s legacy as well as give scholarships. However, the foundation has faced some tax issues in the past and is not considered a nonprofit.

And even though we don’t know for certain, why the family pulled the festival from Corpus Christi or when we’ll get to celebrate the Latina icon again, we will be looking forward to finding out where Fiesta de La Flor is going to next.

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

Entertainment

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

As the weather cools down and Halloween pops up on our calendars, there’s another holiday quickly approaching that deserves it’s own attention. Every October and November, people from Northern Mexico and around the world celebrate Día de los Muertos by building ofrendas to honor those who they have lost. Ofrendas are shrines set up with the photos of deceased loved ones along with personal items that they appreciated in life. Originating from the Aztecs, these shrines are meant to commemorate their dead loved ones and guide them home on the one day when their souls can journey from the spirit world to the world of the living. 

While ofrendas often honor deceased family members and friends, it’s not unusual to see alters also set up for famous people who have passed away. Fans build these shrines to celebrities in order to pay tribute to their legacy. These celebrity alters are usually as elaborate and amazing as the famous people they are meant to honor. 

Here are some of the remarkable celebrity ofrendas that prove that fame and the love of their fans are everlasting. 

1. Anything for Selenas.

Instagram / @sumnerboi

Selena is one of the most recognizable celebrities of the Latinidad so it makes sense that she’d have quite a few ofrendas built to remember her. San Antonio’s Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery is a Mexican restaurant that keeps this shrine of Selena up all year long to celebrate the Queen of Tejano. 

2. Dedicated to the icons of Mexico.

Instagram / @eltinterodemama

This colorful ofrenda is a reminder that these shrines can be for more than one person at a time. On this alter, Mexican pop culture is represented by superstar actress Maria Felix, comedian and TV star Chespirito (Roberto Gomez Bolanos) and artist Frida Kahlo. Offerings of fruit, food and alcohol adorn this ofrenda to tempt and delight the spirits of these deceased stars. 

3. A shrine fit for a food god.

Instagram / @hunger_street

Two years ago, the food world lost a huge star with the untimely death of Anthony Bourdain. The celebrity chef was known for traveling the world and learning about local customs and cuisine in such a respectful way that it endeared him to the communities that he visited. This earned him the spot of honor on this ofrenda. 

4. Frida’s ofrenda.

Instagram / @raul_krnx

Frida Kahlo is an artist who has only become more beloved in death. Her image is used in everything from jewelry and makeup to home goods and tee shirts. This shrine pays tribute to the legendary artista with pots of food, Mexican marigolds and skeletal attendants. 

5. An alter for Poet Paz.

Instagram / @lamovidapanama

Octavio Paz was a Nobel Prize-winning poet and one of the most influential voices in Mexican literature. His words have been a source of comfort and inspiration to millions of readers over the years. He was also a diplomat and fought against fascism in Mexico and abroad. All these accomplishments deserve to be remembered and Paz is honored in this papel picado-filled ofrenda. 

6. An offering to two legends.

Instagram / @melodysev

This past decade, we’ve lost some remarkable souls but none more beloved than music artists Prince and David Bowie. The Prince of Funk and Ziggy Stardust have millions of fans across the world and they are still remembered for being innovators and entertainers. This ofrenda in honor of the two was fittingly built at the Santa Barbara Bowl an amphitheater dedicated to great music.  

7. RIP Tony Stark.

Twitter / @mkhenderson428

Sometimes fictional characters touch us so much that they become real to us. So, when a character like this passes away, it’s only natural to honor them the way we would a real person. This Day of the Dead project was dedicated to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Gone but never forgotten. 

8. Dedicated to las mujeres.

Instagram / @ilaments

This ofrenda was built in tribute to powerful Latinas. Women like Celia Cruz, Jessica Torres, Margarita Neri, and Delores del Río are immortalized among other great women who will always have a special place in history and in the hearts of their fans.

9. An icon from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

Instagram / @chableresort

Besides ofrendas, grave sites are also decorated as alters for Día de los Muertos. One of the biggest actors of Mexico’s Golden Age of cinema, Pedro Infante is buried in the Yucatan. For the Day of the Dead, his grave site was adorned with Mexican marigolds and candles to guide his spirit back to the world of the living. 

10. The King has entered the building.

Instagram / @beijingemily

One of the most legendary celebrities to have ever lived is Elvis Presley and the man has become a bigger icon in death. There are still claims of Elvis sightings all over the world. Maybe, those fans are just seeing Elvis’ spirit as he returns to visit the thousands of shrines that are dedicated to him for Día de Los Muertos and year-round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4TnFSXDWaM