Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

October 20, 1995: Testimony of Paul Rivera

The next witness, Paul Rivera was recalled to the stand.

Defense attorney Douglas Tinker:: State your name.

Paul Rivera: Paul Rivera.

Tinker:: Are you the same Paul Rivera that testified earlier in this trial?

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: You were assisting during the negotiations of Yolanda Saldivar at what time?

Rivera: About 12:30 to 12:45 p.m.

Tinker:: Do you recall gathering certain exhibits?

Rivera: I can't recall. Tinker:: You will have an opportunity to go through the items.

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: Do you recall going through the purse that have the gold chain on it?

Rivera: I don't recall. I never went through it.

Tinker:: Is it customary to inventory the contents?

Rivera: If I had picked it up myself.

Tinker:: If you had handled it, you would know right?

Rivera: Right.

Tinker:: During your investigation did you know who the wallet belonged to?

Rivera: No.

Tinker:: During the investigation were you told or did you see a letter written by Richard Garza regarding Yolanda Saldivar resigning?

Rivera: Yes I did.

Tinker:: Did you investigate whether Selena Perez even received the letter from Richard Garza?

Rivera: I was told by Chris that she had received it. I have seen it before.

Tinker:: Does this confirm that Selena had received the letter from the lawyer?

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: You have no questions that she signed and received the letter?

Rivera: Yes.

Nueces County District Attorney Carlos Valdez begins questioning.

Valdez: Who signed this returned receipt?

Rivera: I don't know.

Tinker begins questioning again.

Tinker:: You mention the picture of Selena was given to you.

Rivera: It was a poster, this was three weeks after the murder.

Tinker:: You knew Abraham Quintanilla before Selena's death?

Rivera: My brother was in the army with Abraham Quintanilla years ago.

Tinker:: Years ago you were permitted to work for concerts. You worked at Selena's concerts?

Rivera: No, not one time!

Tinker:: One of the things he did, he got to work for Selena's concerts.

Rivera: Never have, never saw Selena in person. The only time I saw Selena was at the morgue.

Tinker:: Did it come a time when you learned I had been appointed to represent Yolanda Saldivar, did you bring a T-shirt to my office?

Rivera: Yes, it was an extra large.

Tinker:: While you were there delivering the T-shirt, before I knew anything about any tapes that had been made, before Yolanda Saldivar said she did not mean to kill Selena, long before she said it was an accident, did I tell you that my client said it was an accident?

Rivera: No I don't remember you saying that. I never heard you say that.

Tinker:: Other officers assisted you in gathering evidence?

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: Within how many days did you conclude from your investigation that there was only one shot fired?

Rivera: The same day, March 31st.

Tinker:: You knew that any witness that said that it was more than one shot fired, that that would be lying about it?

Rivera: That's right.

Tinker:: You are required to file an affidavit and you take those statement at your belief to be true and you would not ask a witness if you thought they were not telling the truth. You also attached to your statement - Espinoza, Sandra statements. You knew Garza was not telling the truth?

Rivera: I think she was mistaken on the two shots.

Tinker:: Rosaria Garza's statement claims that we saw Yolanda Saldivar was chasing Selena and she saw the fire coming from the gun. When she saw it, it was the second time.

Rivera: I don't know. I included all the witnesses testimony.

Tinker:: When there is an investigation and reports are generated by law enforcement, are those then turned over to the person in charge of the investigation?

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: Once they write their report, do you receive those?

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: Once they come in they go directly to the officer so you can be informed.

Rivera: Yes sir.

Tinker:: If a report was generated within a day or so, you would get it?

Rivera: Yes.

Tinker:: Were you aware that there were hostage tapes? Was it important for you to find out what Selena said on the tapes?

Rivera: No, I don't have access.

Tinker:: You are telling the jury that you could not get them?

Rivera: No. Just that they are confidential.

Tinker:: If a report was made, would you be aware?

Rivera: If they come to me.

Tinker:: You're telling the jury that they always come to you.

Rivera: No always.

Tinker:: On April 15, 1995, a report that Bernard Belavidas made concerning his participation.

Rivera: I don't get this report. I knew there were tapes but we don't have access to them. The chief came running to me to tell me.

Tinker:: During the questioning of Yolanda Saldivar, she demonstrated about how she pointed the gun to her head.

Rivera: At the end of the confrontation she said after 10-12 hours she put the gun to her head. The only time she did that was in the very end of her confession.

Tinker:: You claim when she was doing that she was in the truck?

Rivera: Yes sir.

Tinker:: When you talked to the Ranger did you say that she was a cold-blooded murderer and that is why you did not put it in the statement?

Rivera: No I did not say that.