your name and occupation.
Rivera: My name
is Paul Rivera, I'm a detective for the of Corpus Christi Police
Department. I've been in the homicide division for 24 years, 17
years handling criminal cases.
were you expected to do in these cases?
Rivera: I was
commanded by my lieutenant to talk to witnesses, gather evidence,
get identification, process the scene, take photographs if there is
a suspect and interview the suspect. I oversee four to five cases
per day commanded by the lieutenant.
March 31, 1995, were you working that day?
Rivera: I was
working in the downtown area when I was dispatched to the downtown
area where a shooting had taken place at 901 N. Navigation, Days Inn
Motel. I didn't know who was involved. The dispatcher that had
called said the suspect was in the parking lot in a red pickup. I
got there about 8 minutes later after the shooting about 12:05 p.m.
When I got to the Days Inn, I saw an ambulance as I was driving into
the first entrance. After entering the driveway, I looked over and
saw two officers who were taking cover. I took cover behind a
vehicle, assisting the officers.
did you do after you saw the officers taking cover?
Rivera: I drew
what did you do?
approaching two officers, they began to approach the red pickup and
I saw a female inside the truck. I looked in here face through the
rearview mirror. I began talking to her in the driver's open window.
I did not go over to the window because she was holding a gun to her
Valdez: At that
time did you know who she was?
I found out what her name was. I said, "Lady, put your gun down,"
and she said, "Get away!'' After that, an employee of the
restaurant came out and I learned for the first time who the victim
was and that Selena had been shot.
time did the other officer arrive?
Rivera: I guess
they arrived around 12:20 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. I explained to him who
had been shot and the lady was holding a gun to her head.
were you assigned to this case?
Rivera: I was
assigned to the case at the scene.
anybody else assigned to the case?
was your role?
agent. My responsibility for this case included making sure that all
of the evidence is there.
Valdez: Was Ray
Rivera assigned to assist you? By the way, is he any relation to
he was assigned to assist me, but he is no relation to me.
gives you orders?
lieutenant or my supervisor. Being the main agent, I went to the
opposite side of the motel, and I found Mr. Espinoza and he told me
#158, where the shooting occurred. Then we started rounding up
witnesses. I also waited for the scene to be processed.Witnesses
were sent to the police station by other sergeants. Officers did not
know anything about the case and did not know what to ask the
witnesses. They just took statements.
talking to some witnesses, then what did you do?
door to #158 was opened. I saw blood on the door. It was visible
someone was just walking by, would they be able to see the blood?
Rivera: Yes, if
someone was walking by, they could see the blood.
else did you see?
there was a purse, there was a blood trail leading from the door to
the gate where a satchel was found. Blood was also on the ground.
Blood on the sidewalk just outside the door.
this Exhibit depict what you saw that day?
Rivera: Exactly the
way it looked that day. If someone was walking outside the door,
they would be able to see the blood.
for us what you saw that day in the way of blood.
trail of blood was leading toward the swimming pool into the
entrance, inside the lobby. The blood trail started in Room 158 into
the grassy area, blood continued to the driveway, then back up the
sidewalk around the restaurant into the lobby, to the end of the
counter, about 390 feet.
Valdez: Did you
have a ruler to measure the distance?
Rivera: No, I
used the feet measure steps. After following the blood trail, I went
to Memorial Hospital around 2 p.m. because I wanted to know the
victim's condition. She had expired. Then I met the family members,
Valdez: Had you
met Mr. Quintanilla?
met Mr. Quintanilla before.
what did you do?
Rivera: I left
the hospital and went to the police station to get more statements
from Yolanda Saldivar. I was in the station about an hour. Then I
went to the morgue.
you present during the autopsy?
Rivera: Yes, I
was present at the autopsy, then I got in my car and went back to
the station. After I got back to the station, I called a Ranger and
told him to come over because I had something for him to do. Ranger
talked to the defendant's people who had arrived at the station. I
went back to the scene about 7 p.m. with the Ranger. At the scene I
talked to several people.
Valdez: Did you
talk to the hostage negotiators?
Rivera: I don't
remember talking to the hostage negotiators. At approximately 9:30
p.m., the defendant was placed in custody.
requested that she be brought to the station. At the station, I took
Yolanda Saldivar to the interviewing room with 3 officers and the
defendant totaling 4 people in the interview. I asked the Ranger to
leave because I did not want Yolanda Saldivar to be intimated.
Valdez: How big
was the interviewing room?
Valdez: How was
the defendant's demeanor?
Saldivar's demeanor was very quiet. She understood everything that
we told her. I read her her rights
Valdez: Did the
defendant know that she could make any changes that she wanted to
while her rights were being read to her?
sir. After reading her her rights, I started taking notes from what
she was saying.
Valdez: Was she
sir. When someone starts giving a statement, I take notes, I go over
these notes with the defendant, then I dictate the statements from
the notes, give them to my secretary to type. After the typed
statement, I compare that it matches what I had written.
Valdez: Did the
typed version match what you had dictated?
Valdez: At the
time of Ms. Saldivar's interview, did she have a pen to make
Defendant double-checked the typed statement and initialed her
changes, then she signed each page at the bottom.
you were reading were there any corrections?
She wanted to give up her rights. She was not crying.
Testimony resumes after 15-minute break.
Valdez: What do
you usually do with the statements after they have been typed up?
usually shred statements but I did not in this case. I read the
statements to her.
the court what those statements were.
Rivera: 1) That
she is accused of murder. 2) That she has a right to make a
statement. 3) Any statement she made may be used in court. 4) She
has a right to a lawyer. 5) She has a right to have a lawyer
appointed and 6) she has a right to stop this interview. Yolanda
initialed every line and wrote, "Yes, I understand my rights."
Valdez ask Rivera to read the statement of Yolanda Saldivar:
statement): "No one has threatened or coerced me to make these
statements. My phone number is..., my address is ... my age is ...
After doing payroll, employees went from 38 to 14. Mr. Q did not
agree with me working there. He said I was a lesbian. He was putting
a lot of pressure to stay away from her. On March 27, 1995, I drove
to Monterrey with my sister. I stayed there Monday through Wednesday
without contacting Selena. I called Selena and she told me to bring
back some bank statement. The next day I got back to Corpus Christi
at 7:30 p.m. with my nephew. I paged Selena between 7 p.m. and 7:30
p.m. about 8 times. She called me back at 11:30 p.m., then she came
by but said her husband was waiting in the car. She took the bank
statements. Before she left I told her a man had opened my car door
and tried to rape me. Selena called me at 8:30 a.m. the next
morning, came over to the motel about 9 a.m. and took me to the
hospital where I was treated for my bruises. She told me that the
papers were wrong and that I was a lesbian. She argued and I gave
her everything I had, pager, papers. Selena dumped everything on the
bed. I took the gun from my purse and Selena starting walking toward
the door. I told her to close the door. She took off running, and I
don't know where she went. I looked for her but I couldn't find her.
Police officers arrived and I put the pistol to my head for 10-12
hours. I finally was taken down to the police station and read my
rights." She signed.
many corrections were made to this statement?
made those corrections?
sentence was the correction made to?
pulled the hammer back and pulled the trigger and shot her as she
Valdez: Did she
indicate wanting to correct her statement?
Rivera: No sir.
She told me the gun went off. I said you just said you pulled the
trigger and she said, "That's right," and then she signed the
people refuse to sign statements?
there a refusal this time?
A statement of items found in Room 158 is presented as an
is a lot of writing on that page. Who wrote on there?
Rivera: I did.
The items recovered inside Room 158 on April 1, 1995 were: one brown
paper bag containing women's clothing and women's white blouse with
brown lace. During her interview she wanted to know what was going
to happen to her. While I was dictating her statements, she wanted
someone to come to photograph her because she had an injury after
she tripped and fell going to the police station.
The defense attorneys had no questions for Rivera.