Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

October 13, 1995: Testimony of Bernardo Torres

The State calls Bernardo Torres

Skurka:State your name please:

Torres: Bernardo Torres.

Skurka: What do you do?

Torres: I work for the Corpus Police Department.

Skurka: How long?

Torres: For 10 years.

Skurka: Were you assigned to other departments?

Torres: Yes sir.

Skurka: What department?

Torres: Patrol.

Skurka: How long?

Torres: Two years.

Skurka: Did you have any law experience?

Torres: I was Deputy Sheriff in Los Angeles.

Skurka: On March 31, tell the jury how you got involved?

Torres: I was having lunch and I got a call.

Skurka: Were you in a marked car?

Torres: No sir, I had my own personal car.

Skurka: What information did you receive?

Torres: To report to a shooting at Days Inn, and a suspect was in a vehicle in a red truck.

Skurka: We got a picture here. Will you show the jury where you parked?

Torres: Officer Torres pointed it out on the diagram and took a seat.

Skurka: What did you see John Betz do after you left ?

Torres: He was following the red truck.

Skurka: What happened?

Torres: He went into the lobby.

Skurka: At that time, was the paramedic there?

Torres: Yes sir. They were attending to the victim.

Skurka: What did you do then?

Torres: I exit the lobby doors and I spotted the red truck.

Skurka had officer point this out on the diagram.

Skurka: At the time that you were walking on the sidewalk, do you know that was the red truck that you were looking for?

Torres: No sir.

Skurka: At that time, did you have your gun out?

Torres: No sir.

Skurka: When you went walking down the sidewalk, you had only your walkie talkie in your hand?

Torres: Yes sir.

Skurka: Were your badge visible.

Torres: Yes sir.

Skurka: Were your gun visible?

Torres: Yes sir.

Skurka: What happened when you approached the red truck?

Torres: I went up to the red truck and let her know that I was a police officer.

Skurka: Was the window down?

Torres: They were up.

Skurka: What did you do?

Torres: I kicked in the back tailgate area to get her attention.

Skurka: What did she do? Torres: She let the window down half way.

Skurka: What did you do then?

Torres: I asked her to put her hands out.

Skurka: What did she do?

Torres: She stuck one hand out of the window.

Skurka: What did she say?

Torres: I have to call San Antonio. She said she was not involved in the shooting.

Skurka: At this time, what was her demeanor?

Torres: She was calm.

Skurka: What happened?

Torres: She put the gun to her head.

Skurka: Was that the first time that you saw the gun?

Torres: That was the first time that I saw the gun.

Skurka: What did you do then?

Torres: I pulled out my gun down to the side.

Skurka: That is the first time that you had the gun out?

Torres: No I had the gun out before to my side.

Skurka: What did you do then?

Torres: I called dispatch.

Skurka: What did she do then?

Torres: She said that I am going to kill myself.

Skurka: Was Officer Betz back at this time?

Torres: I don't know.

Skurka: What happened then?

Torres: That is when I told her to put the gun down.

Skurka: What did she do?

Torres: She kept the gun to her head.

Skurka: What kind of gun did she have?

Torres: A revolver.

Skurka: Did other officers join you?

Torres: Officer Betz, and two others.


Tinker: Were the clothing that you had on that day, similar to what you have on now?

Torres: A winter jacket.

Tinker: Describe the jacket.

Torres described the jacket. It was not like the one he is wearing today.

Tinker: How far did the jacket go down?

Torres: Not below my beltline.

Tinker: What department do you work?

Torres: Background investigations.

Tinker: Were you out in the field doing some kind of background investigation?

Tor: No sir.

Tinker: Were you in your vehicle?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: You left the situation in your personal car for lunch?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: There is no question that your jacket covered the gun?

Torres: I don't know.

Tinker had Officer Torres stand up to let the jury see if the defendant may have seen the gun.

Tinker: Was it cold on March 31?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: Did you make a report concerning you involvement in this?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: What was the report involving ?

Torres:While I was at the scene?

Tinker:Did you do your best to write a complete and accurate report?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: Everything that you thought that was important?

Torres::Yes sir.

Tinker: How long after the situation that you wrote this?

Torres: (Didn't answer.)

Torres: In that report that you did?

Torres: Well I am thinking about it.

Tinker: Tinker approached the witness in the witness area standing with the report.

Tinker: You didn't write in you report that she denied the shooting. Didn't you.

Torres: No comment.

Tinker: The Prosecution had already told you about your not putting that in your report, didn't they?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: What time was it, that you recall, when your first got there?

Torres: Maybe a little before noontime.

Tinker: The report said that you were not in the parking lot and no vehicle was inside? Is that right?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: Was there any police vehicles anywhere when this red truck pulled up on the parking lot?

Torres: No sir.

Tinker: When you walked up to the red truck, did you know that the lady was going to be in it? Didn't you?

Torres:: Yes sir.

Torres: Didn't you walk up there?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: At some point you pulled your weapon?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: Did you, at any time, pulled your weapon.

Torres: No sir.

Tinker: Did you pull your weapon before you saw her weapon?

Torres: After.

Tinker:: When you asked the lady to show her hands, she stuck one of them out.

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: The lady was shot at the time. Did you know that?

Torres: I didn't know at the time.

Tinker: Were you there for some period of time?

Torres: Yes sir.

Tinker: Were you able to hear what Officer Houston had to say to her?

Torres: No sir.

Tinker: If you had heard anything in your conversation, would you have put it in your report?

Torres: No sir.

Tinker: That's all of the questions.


Skurka: Is the lady in the vehicle in this courtroom?

Torres: Yes sir.(Identifying Yolanda Saldivar.)

Skurka: Prosecution rest.

Editor's note: David Giles also testified Friday but his testimony is not included here.