Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

Thursday, October 12, 1995: Testimony of Celia Soliz

Judge: Call your next witness

Sterling: The State calls Celia Soliz

Witness is sworn in.

Sterling: Please state your full name.

Soliz: Celia Soliz

Sterling: How old are you?

Soliz: 25

Sterling: What do you do for a living?

Soliz: I work at Selena, Inc.

Sterling: How long have you worked there?

Soliz: About a year and a half.

Sterling: So you started there the second week of February, 1994?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: Who hired you?

Soliz: Selena

Sterling: What did you do there?

Soliz: Manicurist

Sterling: Are you busy?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: In 1995 were you working at the boutique?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: Who was your supervisor? Who did you work with everyday?

Soliz: We had a couple of managers.

Sterling: What were their duties?

Soliz: They managed the boutique.

Sterling: Did you have meetings, etc.

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: How did you keep tract of the commissions and payroll.

Soliz: Sales tickets were turned over to Laurie and she would put them in a box under the register.

Sterling: You say you were at the boutique in March, 1995?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: Did you receive a phone call at the boutique on the day of the shooting of Selena?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: Who made that phone call?

Soliz: Selena

Sterling: What did she tell you on the phone?

Soliz: She said she was going to run over and have a meeting with Yolanda concerning her job.

Sterling: Was Selena concerned about the job?

Soliz: Yes, she was very upset.

Tinker: Objection - calls for speculation.

Judge: Overruled.

Sterling: How was your relationship with the other employees?

Soliz: We just worked together.

Sterling: But how was your relationship?

Soliz: Strictly business.

Tinker: Objection.

Judge: Restate.

Sterling: Did you get the idea that there was a conflict among the employees?

Soliz: There were arguments.

Sterling: Did anything else happen at Selena's house?

Soliz: She received a phone call.

Sterling: Was she calm?

Soliz: She was very upset.

Sterling: What were you doing at the time of the phone call?

Soliz: I was doing her nails.

Sterling: What time was this?

Soliz: Around 5:30.

Sterling: Selena received a phone call from an employee and was very upset?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: Did you know any of the phone numbers.

Soliz: No, none were local.

Sterling: What were you doing at the time of the phone call?

Soliz: I was working on her nails.

Sterling: Anything else?

Soliz: No

Sterling: Did a phone call go through?

Soliz: She talked to Yolanda.

Sterling: As a result of that phone call ......

Tinker: Objection

Judge: Overruled

Judge dismissed jury.

Sterling: Your Honor, may I have a moment. Prosecution lawyers conferred among themselves.

Sterling: Your Honor - (conversation with judge unintelligible).

Judge: There seems to be information that I do not know about which might cause a reversal - (Judge's remarks were unintelligible.

Valdez then stood and cited cases relative to certain information regarding reversal situations.

Judge: Is this witness going to be available for recall?

Valdez: It appears to be exactly the same kind of testimony so I don't want to make an issue.

Judge: Bring in the jury.

Sterling: What time did Selena leave the boutique?

Soliz: Around 5:30

Sterling: Was that the last time you saw her?

Soliz: No, I followed her home.

Sterling: Why?

Tinker: Objection.

Judge: Overruled.

Defense Rebuttal:

Tinker: How long did you work at the boutique?

Soliz: About one year

Tinker: Were you already an acquaintance or friend?

Soliz: No

Tinker: Did you apply for the job - did you go there for the purpose of giving assistance?

Soliz: No - I went to see the boutique.

Tinker: Did Selena recognize you?

Soliz: Yes.

Tinker: Was the clothing business in operation at that time?

Soliz: Yes.

Tinker: Was that business a growing business at that time?

Soliz: Yes.

Tinker: You were required to keep records of the salon, giving percentage of the business?

Soliz: No

Tinker: That was paid by check?

Soliz: Yes

Tinker: Was Selena there all the time?

Soliz: Most of the time.

Tinker: Then you say she was in most of the time?

Soliz: About 3 days a week.

Tinker: Sometimes she would be in Monterrey?

Soliz: Yes

Further questioning by Prosecution:

Sterling: You stated that you were paid by Yolanda Saldivar?

Soliz: Yes

Sterling: Were there any times you were unable to cash your check?

Tinker: Objection.

Judge: Overruled.

Soliz: Yes.

Sterling: What did you do?

Soliz: I spoke to Selena and she wrote me another check.

Sterling: Do you remember when that was?

Soliz: The end of February or beginning of March.

Sterling: Where did you try to cash your check?

Soliz: Nations Bank.

Sterling: You do not know the account name or number?

Soliz: No.

Judge: Witness may step down.

Editor's note: Blanca Padilla and Patricia Biggs also testified Thursday