Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

October 20, 1995: Testimony of Ruben DeLeon

Editor's note: Ruben DeLeon, director of sales and marketing for the Days Inn, was the first witness of the day.

Defense attorney Douglas Tinker: Remind the jury of what your job was at Days Inn.

Ruben DeLeon: Sales director of sales and marketing.

Tinker: Tell the ladies and gentlemen when you first saw Selena, where were you?

DeLeon: I started out leaving my office and went to the middle of the lobby.

Tinker: Did she collide, run into you?

DeLeon: Yes.

Tinker: What did you hear her say?

DeLeon: 'Help me! Help me! I've been shot.' Once she laid down I got down next to her.

Tinker: Did you hear her say anything about 'call the police, lock the door'?

DeLeon: I did not hear her say that.

Tinker: Did anybody lock the door?

DeLeon: No sir.

Tinker: Did you hear anybody say lock the door?

DeLeon: No sir.

Tinker: Who else was there with you?

DeLeon: The general manager, Ms. (Barbara) Shultz.

Tinker: Was she standing on the inside or outside of the counter?

DeLeon: I can't tell you exactly where she was.

Tinker: Was she in the lobby area?

DeLeon: She was in the lobby area but I don't know where.

Tinker: Did you see anyone else there?

DeLeon: Yes, Mary Parrish.

Tinker: Did you convey information to Shawna (Vela, desk clerk)?

DeLeon: When Selena was on the ground, I was asking her who shot her.

Tinker: Do you recollect Shawna was ever in the area where Selena was?

DeLeon: Not to my recollection.

Tinker: Shawna never did come over to listen to what Selena was saying.

DeLeon: I was not really looking at her.

Tinker: She never was over there close to hear what Selena was saying.

DeLeon: No sir.

Tinker: Selena never said Yolanda Saldivar.

DeLeon: To me? No sir.

Tinker: Let me show you Exhibit 24, taken by the law enforcement. Do you recognize it?

DeLeon: Yes, it's an area where the service station is.

Tinker: While they (the jurors) are doing that (looking at the exhibit), let me show you Exhibits 16-18. Look through these. Does that reflect the area on March 31, 1995?

DeLeon: No sir.

Nueces County District Attorney Carlos Valdez: (Through objections) Do you know who took these pictures? Do you know what angle they are taken from?

DeLeon: No sir.

Tinker: There are no questions that these were taken at the Days Inn in Corpus Christi, is there?

DeLeon: I know that that's the building.

Tinker: Do you have any questions about these exhibits?

DeLeon: No sir.

Cross examination by Valdez.

Valdez: What is the first thing you told the jury when you first saw Selena?

DeLeon: I freaked out.

Valdez: Were you paying attention to everyone in the lobby?

DeLeon: No.

Valdez: You were focused on one person weren't you?

DeLeon: I just wanted to help her.

Valdez: When you were talking to Selena, were you leaning down?

DeLeon: I was squatted down.

Valdez: So you were not even looking at Shawna?

DeLeon: I could not see where she was behind the counter.

Valdez: Do you know if these pictures reflect what Martinez saw that day?

DeLeon: No I don't; no, sir.

Valdez: You don't know if officers (who) took those pictures were standing here (pointing to an area on the diagram in front of the jurors)?

DeLeon: No.

Valdez: Did you tell the jury that no one locked the door that day? Is it possible that you just did not see them?

DeLeon: It is possible that I did not see them. Next defense witness.