Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

Thursday, October 12, 1995: Testimony of Norma Martinez

Valdez: Please state your name.

Martinez: Norma Martinez

Valdez: Where do you live?

Martinez: In Houston.

Valdez: How long?

Martinez: For about two weeks.

Valdez: Where did you live before ?

Martinez: I have lived the rest of my life in Corpus until two weeks ago.

Valdez: Do you work?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: What kind?

Martinez: Housekeeping.

Valdez: In Corpus, did you work?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Where?

Martinez: The Days Inn.

Valdez: How long?

Martinez: Close to a month and a half.

Valdez: Were you working there on March 31?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: What were your duties?

Martinez: I worked until 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and then I would go back at 6:00 at night.

Valdez: Were you working on March 31?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: What were you doing?

Martinez: I was going to Room 128. I didn't have a key, and I called the maintenance man to let me in.

Valdez: Will you step down to identify this picture (a photo that only the Jury , Prosecution, and Defense could see).

Martinez: Yes.

Valdez: What is this a picture of?

Martinez: The Days Inn.

Valdez: At 11:40 p.m., where were you?

Martinez: Pointed it out on the picture.

Valdez: Were you on the first floor or the second floor?

Martinez: First floor.

Valdez: Who was the maintenance man?

Martinez: Trinidad Espinoza.

Valdez: Did you hear a noise?

Martinez: Yes sir. It sounded like a car back firing.

Valdez: What did you see?

Martinez: I saw a woman come out.

Valdez: What did the woman look like?

Martinez: She had on a green jumpsuit, and she was screaming help, help!

Valdez: At this time, did you know it was Selena?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: But, since then you know it was Selena, right?

Martinez: Yes.

Valdez: What room was the woman coming out of?

Martinez: Room 158.

Valdez: Was she screaming?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Did you see somebody else?

Martinez: Yes sir. Another lady , she was short.

Valdez: What was she doing?

Martinez: She was running after Selena.

Valdez: What was she wearing?

Martinez: A kind of light green hospital scrub.

Valdez: Do you see that person in the courtroom, today?

Martinez: Yes sir. (she identified the Defendant)

Valdez: What was she doing?

Martinez: She was pointing a gun at Selena.

Valdez: How did she look?

Martinez: She didn't look like she was angry or anything.

Valdez: Where did she stop?

Martinez: Pointed it out on the diagram.

Valdez: Did she point the gun any more?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: What happened to Yolanda Saldivar?

Martinez: She went back to the room.

Valdez: Did you see her face?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Did she look excited?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: Was she screaming?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: Was she calling for help?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: Could you hear the screaming of Selena?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Could you hear Yolanda?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: What did she say?

Martinez: She called Selena a "bitch."

Valdez: Did you follow Selena?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Where?

Martinez: Selena went into the lobby. She was calling for help.

Valdez: Did you see a policeman?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Who was he?

Martinez: He was white.

Valdez: Did he help?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: What did Saldivar do?

Martinez: She was driving red truck. I told the police officer to hurry.

Valdez: What did the officer do?

Martinez: He got into his vehicle. The policeman found her. He went to the truck, but Yolanda had the gun pointed to her head. She was scream.

Valdez: What was she screaming?

Martinez: That she didn't do nothing.

Valdez: Did you go to the police on that day?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Did you give them a statement?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Did you sign it?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Don't you know that the report that you signed have some different things than what you are saying today? We talked about it in my office.

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Did I tell you what to say?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: What did I tell you?

Martinez: When I talked to the court, just tell the truth.

Valdez: That's all.


Tinker: Will you describe the weapon?

Martinez: I thought that it was a cowboy gun.

Tinker: What do you mean by that?

Martinez: I mean that I saw it, and it was real big, and I have never been around guns.

Tinker: Will you describe what a cowboy means?

Tinker: It is a gun with a long barrow?

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: Could you show me what how long it was?

Martinez: Demonstrated.

Tinker: So is a cowboy gun long or not?

Martinez: Yes sir, it is long.

Tinker: Ms. Martinez, could you come down here?

(he showed her a diagram of Day Inn)

Tinker: Will you show me where you think the incident was?

Martinez: I rather show you on this other picture, because I understand it better.

Tinker: In your statement to the police, you never said anything about "bitch".

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: Do you remember talking to an Officer Garret at the scene about the shooting?

Martinez: No sir I don't remember talking to an Officer Garret that I saw the shooting.

Tinker: Did you tell any officer that?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: Objected to Tinker writing on the photo (or picture).

Judge: Overruled.

Tinker: You never told any officer that you did not see the shooting?

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: Will you show me where you were when the shooting incident took place?

Martinez: Pointed it out.

Tinker: What was it that first brought your attention to this area? (point to the photo or diagram)

Martinez: I heard a boom and I turned around.

Tinker: Do you know a man named Trinidad Espinoza?

Martinez: Yes sir, from that day.

Tinker: Were you standing side by side?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: Were you standing side by side when you heard the boom?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: When you heard this boom, you turned around?

Martinez: When we heard the boom, we both turned around.

Tinker: What is the first place that you saw Selena?

Martinez: She pointed it out on the photo and said I saw her come across from the parking lot.

Tinker: What about the first time that you saw Selena, she was running and screaming help, help? What way was she coming?

Martinez: I saw her coming out the doorway.

Tinker: Did you see blood on Selena?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: Presented the statement to Norma that she had made on March 31, and asked her is this it?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Objected

Judge: Overruled

Tinker: Did you see Saldivar shoot Selena?

Martinez: No sir I heard the gun.

Tinker: As Selena was coming out first , where was Saldivar?

Martinez: Saldivar was in back of her.

Tinker: Do you recall the officer you gave the sworn statement to?

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: Tinker then read the name of the officer to Norma Martinez from the statement that she had signed.

Then he asked Norman Martinez to step down to point out on the diagram.

Tinker: Where was Saldivar standing when you said that you heard the boom.

Martinez: Demonstrated it on the diagram.

Martinez: Selena came running out and Saldivar was behind her.

Tinker: So your statement on the report that you saw her shoot Selena is wrong.

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: Did you see Yolanda go to the pick-up truck?

Martinez: No sir. I just saw her go to the front of the lobby.

Tinker: Did you tell the officer where Saldivar was?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: Did you tell the police that the lady chased her through the office?

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: Ask the Judge for a few minutes?

Judge Westergren Granted this.

Tinker: Did you talk to Mr. Rivera, from the Police Dept., on April 11th?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: The officer was a detective for the investigation?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: You did not tell him about your "bitch" on that day, did you?

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: The statement you gave Mr. Rivera, on that day, didn't say anything about "bitch," did it?

Martinez: No sir.

Tinker: Did you tell Mr. Rivera that you saw Saldivar go and get into a red pickup?

Martinez: No sir.

Martinez: I never told him that I saw her get into the truck.

Tinker: You said this both on March 31 and April 11th, and you got that wrong.

Martinez: Yes sir.

Tinker: Did you tell the police on March 31 that Saldivar shot Selena in the back?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Prosecution interrupted.

Valdez: Did you write the statement that Mr. Tinker has?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: How far did you go in school?

Martinez: The ninth grade.

Valdez: Did you see Saldivar shoot Selena?

Martinez: No sir.

Valdez: This statement is wrong is it not?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Where you nervous when you talked to police?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Are you nervous now?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: Did you see Saldivar chasing Selena?

Martinez: Yes sir.

Valdez: That's all.


Tinker: Did you see Saldivar shoot Selena?

Martinez: I never had seen a shooting in my life.

Tinker: That's all.

Editor's note: Sandra Avalos also testified on Thursday, but her testimony is not included here.