Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

October 11, 1995: The prosecution testimony of Chris Perez

(Nueces County District Attorney Carlos) Valdez: How old are you?

Chris Perez: 26

Valdez: Where do you live?

Perez: : Corpus Christi, Texas.

Valdez: How long have you lived there?

Perez: For about three years.

Valdez: What do you do for a living?

Perez: I am a musician.

Valdez: For about how long?

Perez: For approximately 8 years.

Valdez: When did you learn to play the guitar?

Perez: When I was about 15 or 16.

Valdez: How did you pick it up?

Perez: I learned it by myself.

Valdez: Did you join a band?

Perez: Not right away. I was about 18 when I joined a Tejano band.

Valdez: When did you start playing with Selena's band?

Perez: In about 1989 or 1990.

Valdez: When you joined Selena's band, did you meet someone special?

Perez: Yes, Selena. She turned out to be my wife.

Valdez: How did that relationship develop?

Perez: We started out as friends, then later on we got serious, then we got married.

Valdez: How long did you date?

Perez: We dated for about eight months before we got married.

Valdez: When did you get married?

Perez: We got married on April 2 of 1992.

Valdez: How was you relationship with you wife?

Perez: She was my wife.

Valdez: How was your relationship with your wife?

Perez: It was good.

Valdez: Do you still talk to them (Selena's family)?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez: Do you plan to move?

Perez: Yes, I am looking for a place.

Valdez: Is that because of anything that has happened?

Perez:: No,  not at all.

Valdez: When you started with the band, did you consider this your immediate family?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez: How old were you when you married Selena?

Perez: Twenty-two

Valdez: How old was Selena?

Perez: Twenty.

Valdez: Do you know Yolanda Saldivar?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez:: How long?

Perez: I don't remember the exact time. I don't know. Sometime in about 1990.

Valdez: What was Yolanda Saldivar to do?

Perez: She was to start a Fan Club.

Valdez: Did Yolanda become close to the family?

Perez: Yes, she did.

Valdez: Do you remember what Yolanda's job was?

Perez: At that time I think she was a registered nurse.

Valdez: Did Selena hire her?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: When?

Perez: About a 1 1/2 years ago.

Valdez: What job did she hire her for?

Perez: To take care of the business.

Valdez: What business?

Perez: Planning and so forth.

Valdez: To take care of all of Selena's business?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez: Was she Selena's chaperone?

Perez: No

Valdez: Did Selena need a chaperone?

Perez:: No.

Valdez: Did you and your wife go places together?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez: Do you know how long Yolanda worked for Selena?

Perez:: For about eight months.

Valdez: Were you familiar with the business?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez:: Did you help Selena with the business?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez:: What did you do?

Perez: We made decisions together.

Valdez: Whose money was it?

Perez: Selena's and mine.

Valdez:: What did Selena exactly do?

Perez: She tried to design clothes and sketch..It was individual designs..

Valdez:: What kind of designs?

Perez: Clothing. And al so people would have their nails done and their hair.

Valdez: Did Selena ever talk to you about drawing also?

Perez:: She wanted to open up her own store.

Valdez:: Did you talk on a regular basis?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez:: How involved was Yolanda ?

Perez:: She was plenty involved.

Valdez: Did she write checks?

Perez:: Yes, she wrote checks, and withdrew money.

Valdez:: Did she have any credit cards?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez: Was she on all of the accounts?

Perez:: She handled the business.

Valdez: Did you remove Yolanda from the checking account?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: Do you remember the dates?

Perez:: The middle of March.

Valdez:: What happened that date?

Tinker: Objection.

Judge Westergren: Overruled.

Valdez: Why?

Perez: Selena and I didn't trust her .

Valdez: Why did you not trust her?

Perez: A lot of things were not accounted for.. We could not get a explanation for the things.

Valdez: When was the meeting called?

Perez:: On March 9 Selena called Yolanda on the phone.

Valdez: Did Selena fire her?

Perez: Yes, Selena fired her that night on the phone.

Tinker: Objection. Hearsay.

Valdez:: After that did Yolanda still work for you?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: What was her job?

Perez: Going to Mexico and opening a clothing line of business.

Valdez: Why was it that she kept on working after she was fired?

Perez: At that time we were trying to collect paperwork and tax time was coming up.

Valdez: Did you ever get the paperwork?

Perez: We never got the paperwork.

Valdez: So that is why you kept her on.

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: Did you ever get all of the paperwork?

Perez:: No.

Valdez: Now let me ask you about March 30, 1995.

Valdez: Did you see Yolanda on that day?

Perez:: Yes.

Valdez:: Did Selena see her on that day?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: How do you know?

Perez: I took Selena to the hotel.

Valdez:: What hotel?

Perez: The Days Inn.

Valdez: Why did you take her there?

Perez: To see Yolanda?

Valdez: What happened when you got there?

Perez: Selena went in.

Valdez: What did you do?

Perez: I stayed outside waiting, walking around the truck.

Valdez: Did Selena get the paperwork from Selena?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: Was all of the paperwork there?

Perez: No.

Tinker: Objection.

Judge Westergren: Overruled.

Valdez: What happened?

:Perez: Selena got into the truck, and we looked at the paperwork. and she said that all of it was not there.

Valdez: So what did she do?

Perez: She didn't do anything. When we got home we could see that statements were missing.

Valdez: What did you do?

Perez: It was my decision to Selena to call Yolanda and to meet with her.

Valdez:: Did Selena meet with Yolanda again?

Perez:: The next morning. My father was staying with us and I was awakened with a scare when Selena opened the door. Selena left.

Valdez:: What did you do?

Perez: My father and I went shopping and when we returned some messages were on my message machine saying come to the hospital. And I didn't know that she was dead until I got to the hospital.

Valdez: How did you feel?

Perez: My wife was dead. I was devastated.

Valdez: Was Selena scared of her father?

Perez: No.

Valdez: Was he involved in Selena's business?

Perez: No.

Valdez: Did you have a business?

Perez: Yes.

Valdez: Was Selena's father involved?

Perez: No.

Valdez: Mr. Perez, have you ever threatened Yolanda Saldivar in any way?

Perez: No.

Valdez: Have you seen her since Selena's death?

Perez: No.

Judge: Do you have any questions?

Tinker: No, not at this time.

Editor's Note: Testimony was also heard Wednesday from Selena's sister Suzette and two employees of a San Antonio gun store and shooting range where the gun used in Selena's slaying was purchased.