Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

October 18, 1995: Partial testimony of Josie Hernandez

Prosecution questioning: The State Calls Josie Hernandez

Valdez: Good afternoon. State you name, please.

Hernandez: My name is Josie Hernandez.

Valdez: What do you do?

Hernandez: I am in charge of Uniform Police and Police Passport.

Valdez: I am going to direct your attention to March 31. Were you on duty?

Hernandez: Yes, I was.

Valdez: Do you remember being called to take pictures of the defendant?

Hernandez: Yes.

Valdez: Do you remember who that officer was?

Hernandez: I believe Maxwell.

Valdez: What did you do?

Hernandez: I went to the Interview Room and I talked to Officer Parker.

Valdez: Why?

Hernandez: Because at that time they didn't have a female to take pictures.

Valdez: Had you ever done this before? Had you been trained?

Hernandez: I received about a 15-minute crash course on it.

Valdez: What did he ask you to do?

Hernandez: Sergeant Rivera spoke to me of some injuries and that she needed pictures to be taken.

Valdez: Did you take pictures of her?

Hernandez: Yes, I did.

Valdez: What did you see?

Hernandez: She had some bruises on one of her arms, and shoulder (yellowish in color). She had a small abrasion on one of her knees.

Valdez: While you were taking those pictures, did you have a conversation with Yolanda?

Hernandez: Only to move her arms up and so on.

Valdez: What was her mood?

Hernandez: She was rather calm.

Valdez: What did she have on?

Hernandez: Something looking like a hospital scrub.

Valdez: Did she tell you that she had been in an accident?

Hernandez: No.

Valdez: Were you in the room by yourself?

Hernandez: Yes, sir.

Valdez: If I show you some pictures, Exhibits 41, 42, and 43, could you identify them?

Hernandez: Yes.

Valdez: Exhibit #43 looks like it's not in focus.

Hernandez: I was having a problem because it was on the leg.

Valdez: Are these the pictures?

Hernandez: Yes.

Valdez: Your Honor, I would like this as evidence.

Hagans: The defense has no problem with this.

Valdez: Her demeanor was cooperative?

Hernandez: Yes.

Valdez: I pass the witness.

Defense questioning:

Tinker: You took some more pictures of her didn't you?

Hernandez: Yes.

Tinker: What time ?

Hernandez: About 10 p.m.

Tinker: Did you know that she had been questioned by Rivera?

Hernandez: I had no information on that.

Tinker: The picture said 11:50. Do you have any recollection of that?

Hernandez: No, sir.

Tinker: May I approach the witness, Your Honor?

Judge: Yes.

Tinker: While I am looking at the photograph, who told you where the injuries were?

Hernandez: No one.

Tinker: Did Rivera suggest where the injuries were?

Hernandez: No. He just said some were on the body.

Tinker: Did you have any reason to take pictures on the back?

Hernandez: No, sir.

Tinker: Could you look at the report so you can see about what time does the report says?

Hernandez: Yes, it says 11:50.

Tinker: The statement says it was 11:20. So you couldn't have seen her until after she had made the statement. You were chosen to take the pictures because you were the only female?

Hernandez: Yes, sir.

Tinker: How long have you been in the department?

Hernandez: Eighteen years.

Tinker: Have you ever met me?

Hernandez: I don't think so.

Tinker: Let me show you what have been marked in Exhibits 11, 12, and 13. Are those the photographs that you took ?

Hernandez: Yes, sir.

Tinker: When you took the photographs, were you considering taking bruises?

Hernandez: Yes, sir.

Tinker: Photographs don't show as well as the naked eye, do they?

Hernandez: I guess not.

Tinker: Exhibit #14. In your opinion, that could have been a bruise from several days?

Hernandez: It could have been.

Tinker: That's all the questions.

Prosecution questioning:

Valdez: Do you think that those could have been bruises from a bat?

Hernandez: I don't think so. Bruises from a bat would have been black.

Valdez: That's all.

Hagans: What is the date of that again?

Rivera: March 13, 1995.

Hagans is asking Raymond Rivera about a picture of Selena.

Hagans: Paul Rivera had a poster of Selena in his office, didn't he?

Rivera: Yes, sir.

Hagans: Did it ever enter in your mind that this officer was too closely involved in this case because of the victim.?

Rivera: No, sir.

Prosecution questioning:

Valdez: The letter of March 13, 1995, the letter of resignation, were you aware of that?

Rivera: No, sir.

Valdez: Do you know that March 13th was also the day that Yolanda picked up the pistol at the Gun Shop?

Rivera: No, sir.

Valdez: Don't you remember Yolanda told you that she was still working for Selena?

Rivera: Yes, sir.