Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

Thursday, October 12, 1995: Debra Ramirez's testimony

Court resumed 8:40

Judge: Are there any issues to be addressed today?

Tinker: I have a couple off matters may I approach the bench?

Judge: Yes - I could not hear what was discussed at the bench - microphones are cut off when lawyers are at bench.

Judge: Anything further?

Tinker: Yes. It is my understanding that a witness made a call and discussed certain aspects of this case. Of course, this it has been made very clear that they are not to discuss the case with anyone except the attorneys or statements made in this court. May I approach the bench. Again, I was unable to hear what was being discussed.

Judge: Anything else?

Tinker: I know you are limited in seating capacity in the courtroom. However, only half of the room was filled yesterday and in my opinion the public should be made aware that there is room.

Judge: Anything else?

Tinker: Nothing else, your Honor. Mr. Valdez: Nothing, your Honor.

Judge: I do not know what the problem is on the mikes, but I think we will have to be much more careful in turning the system on and off.

Judge: Bring in the jury.

Judge (to Jury): We will begin testimony at this time and are concerned about certain matters. If you have problems with hearing please say so.

Judge: Bring in the first witness.

State calls Debra Ramirez and she is sworn in by bailiff.

Prosecution: Please state your full name:

Ramirez: Debra Ramirez

Prosecution: Where do you live?

Ramirez: In Corpus Christi, Texas

Prosecution: How old are you?

Ramirez: Thirty-five (35)

Prosecution: What do you do for a living?

Ramirez: I take care of managing a boutique, checking customers in and out, answering the phone and other such jobs.

Prosecution: Do you know Selena Quintanilla Perez?

Ramirez: Yes

Prosecution: Did you grow up together and did you have an opportunity to work for her?

Ramirez: Yes

Prosecution: When did you go to work for her?

Ramirez: Yes

Prosecution: Were you living in Corpus Christi at the time?

Ramirez: I had moved from Lake Jackson

Prosecution: What were you going to do for her?

Ramirez: Work basically for her and Yolanda based in Corpus Christi.

Prosecution: Do you know Yolanda Saldivar?

Ramirez: Yes

Prosecution: Do you see here in the courtroom today?

Ramirez: Yes

Prosecution: Would you describe her to us.

Ramirez: She is wearing pink

Prosecution: Were you going to be working with Yolanda Saldivar?

Ramirez: What my duties were going to be were not made clear to me.

Prosecution: When did you being working for Selena?

Ramirez: In January of this year.

Prosecution: Where?

Ramirez: In Monterey

Prosecution: That was in January, you say?

Ramirez: Yes, they sent me to the boutique

Prosecution: What did you do there?

Ramirez: I helped with contractual services - I was only there temporarily. I took care of W-2 forms and other employment forms. I basically looked at figures.

Prosecution: What else did you do?

Ramirez: Basically helped out at the boutique. My duties were really not made very clear. I pulled out sales figures and sales made by the girls at the boutique.

Prosecution: How did they keep track of their sales and commissions?

Ramirez: They had tickets for every customer.

Prosecution: Did you know what they were paid?

Ramirez: No. They were on a commission basis. They did not allow anyone to go into the cabinets. I was there for a week. I was told that I was going to be working somewhere else.

Prosecution: How did you feel about working at the boutique?

Ramirez: I didn't feel like they were very professional. I told Yolanda that I didn't think the girls were very professional and they wouldn't let me help them.

Prosecution: Did she help you out with the problem?

Ramirez: No. She said intelligence was not important in that business.

Prosecution: You said you were curious about the sales reports?

Ramirez: Yes. They were always locked up and she had the key.

Prosecution: What did she do?

Ramirez: She really told me that it was really not my business and I was not to be bothered about it.

Prosecution: Do you know what happened to those reports?

Ramirez: No

Prosecution: After that, what did you do?

Ramirez: I cam back to Corpus Christi in March, 1995.

Prosecution: What were you coming back to?

Ramirez: "Q" Productions - as a receptionist and anything I was asked to do, basic office duties.

Prosecution: Did you have any problems helping with the business?

Ramirez: Yes

Prosecution: What kind of problems did you have?

Ramirez: There was a problems with papers. Some papers were missing.

Prosecution: You say this was the week of the 31st?

Ramirez: It was on Tuesday before the 31st.

Prosecution: What were you doing during that time?

Ramirez: Sorting papers, tax forms - it was tax time.

Prosecution: You found these records missing?

Tinker: Objection - speculation - no foundation.

Judge: Overruled

Prosecution: You couldn't find the papers, so what did you do?

Tinker: Objection - assumption

Judge: Overruled

Ramirez: I had a conversation about them with Yolanda.


Prosecution: As a result of that conversation, did she get the records?

Ramirez: No, she never did.

Prosecution: Did you help her at any other time?

Ramirez: Yes, on Wednesday

Prosecution: Was she able to get the papers on Wednesday?

Ramirez: No

Prosecution: How late did you work there?

Ramirez: Just a few months, really

Prosecution: No further questions your Honor.

Judge: Rebuttal? Tinker: Yes, your Honor.

Tinker: You are related to Selena, are you not? What side are you related to her?

Ramirez: On my mother's side. My mother is Abraham Quintanilla's sister.

Tinker: You lived in Corpus Christi the first time ;you participated in Selena's business?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Before that you and your family resided in Lake Jackson, Texas?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: What is your age?

Ramirez: 35

Tinker: So you are some older than Selena?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Were you called up to assist in the record keeping of the business, or to assist them when they went to Mexico?

Ramirez: Actually, my duties were not made completely clear.

Tinker: When you were employed, did you leave a specific job to take that job?

Ramirez: No

Tinker: What kid of training to you have? Bookkeeping? Bookkeeping of any kind?

Ramirez: I worked in the bookkeeping department at an allergy clinic (she said the entire name of the clinic, but I could not hear it.

Tinker: Did you actually do any actual record keeping or have any actual experience in record keeping or duties pertaining to the way the boutique was being run?

Ramirez: (Unintelligible)

Tinker: The records you mentioned were records being kept by women and men who were doing the hair dressing?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: It was the stylists themselves who kept accurate records?

Ramirez: That is right. Tinker: Who hired you to work at the boutique?

Ramirez: Yolanda

Tinker: But you are related to Abraham Quintanilla, right?

Ramirez: Yes.

Tinker: Do you recall, did Selena have a professional bookkeeper or CPA to whom she could take the books to?

Ramirez: Yes, a CPRamirez:

Tinker: So, when you were there, was a CPA dealing with the records? Ramirez: I do not know.

Tinker: Have you ever heard of a CPA by the name of Daniel ??? (I did not hear last name)

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Did you ever go to his office with the records?

Ramirez: I think once or twice.

Tinker: But you did take the records on at least one (1) occasion?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Were there records - were you familiar, or did you ever see records of the fan club?

Ramirez: No.

Tinker: When you took records to the accountant from Selena did you do so by yourself?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Who was actually in charge of running and operating the boutique?

Ramirez: Laurie Roath

Tinker: She was the on who actually managed the boutique?

Ramirez: Yolanda's job was also manager, and she was also going to Monterey to set up the shop there.

Tinker: Did you know if Yolanda went there?

Ramirez: Yes.

Tinker: The manufacturing business was growing and the designs that Yolanda was creating was for the purpose of obtaining less expensive labor?

Ramirez: I do not know.

Tinker: Was there a business set up?

Ramirez: I do not know.

Tinker: At anytime you do not know, it is perfectly all right.

Tinker: You did not go down there yourself, but you know that Yolanda was sent down there to help set up the operation?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Did you actually ever have a conflict with Laurie Roath.

Ramirez: No

Tinker: Laurie ( ?) was manager of the operation?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: And you worked there for less than a week - at the boutique?

Ramirez: Basically a week - 5-days.

Tinker: During that time, was Yolanda there all the time and the other people were performing various duties?

Ramirez: Actually, Laurie was a hair stylist also. In addition to manager, she was a hair stylist, so she was in charge of the hair stylists.

Tinker: In addition to other duties, Yolanda was required to do other things for her?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Do you know who did the hiring of the people at the boutique?

Ramirez: I am not sure.

Tinker: On one occasion, it is your understanding that one hair stylist was hired without Selena knowing about it?

Ramirez: I do not know.

Tinker: The boutique - is it one structure or more than one structure?

Ramirez: One (1) structure.

Tinker: Did you have to go in one door for the clothing department and another for the salon?

Ramirez: There was one (1) entrance.

Tinker: Did she have catalogues covering the merchandise?

Ramirez: No

Tinker: So, to you recollection, there were no catalogs?

Ramirez: That is correct.

Tinker: Would she have anyone work with her in the design of the clothing?

Ramirez: I know of one person.

Tinker: Who was that person?

Ramirez: (Unintelligible)

Tinker: Selena was also trying to create a line of perfume?

Prosecution Objection! That line of questioning is irregular.

Judge: You had better be going some where with that line of questioning. I have overruled the objection at the time.

Tinker: Was Selena trying to create a perfume?

Ramirez: The store had not be started.

Tinker: Was Yolanda Saldivar assisting her in those activities?

Ramirez: Yes

Tinker: Were they taking trips together?

Ramirez: Yes.

Tinker: Did she and Yolanda go to Monterey?

Ramirez: Yes.

Tinker: On how many occasions? Did they first go down there in January, 1995?

Ramirez: Yes.

Prosecution: Objection

Judge: Sustained

Tinker: How many times did they go to Monterey?

Ramirez: I do not know.

Tinker: I pass the witness, your Honor

Prosecution Rebuttal:

Prosecution: What was the relationship between Abraham and SelenRamirez:

Ramirez: Normal father-daughter relationship.

Prosecution: You testified about assisting Selena in getting the records. How did she react that night when she was unable to get the records.

Ramirez: She was upset.

Prosecution: Who was Laurie Roath?

Ramirez: The manager.

Prosecution: Did you notice any conflict between Selena and Laurie Roath?

Ramirez: No.

I have no further questions, your Honor.