Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

October 23, 1995: Prosecution's Closing Arguments

Mike Skurka's closing:

Skurka: I am going to talk to you about the facts of this case. Our best witness is no longer with us. Yolanda Saldivar killed her, shot her in the back. The defendant left her mark with a bullet hole in the back, Selena left her mark on the world.

Chris Perez said that she went to Mexico to make sure she got most of the records back. Common sense tells you that this is not an accident.

Tinker wants you to think that there is a conspiracy against Yolanda Saldivar, that we were lying.

Abraham Quintanilla never had her under his thumb. He was just a caring father that is the product of a productive son and another daughter. They were just a close knit family. It is obvious she wasn't under his thumb because she went on to be owner two boutiques, designer clothes coming out in Mexico; the defense's theory is just hogwash.

Chris Perez said he and Selena did not trust her, things were coming up missing and she did not trust her. Yolanda Saldivar's briefcase was in the truck behind the seat with all kinds of records in it. She had the other information all along. But she lured Selena to the motel to kill her. The defendant (pointing) right there shot her in the back and killed her.

There are seven lies that Yolanda Saldivar has told:

1. about the rape by Abraham Quintanilla

2. that she cared for terminally ill patients when she was a nurse

3. that she chaperoned the boutiques

4. that she didn't need the gun, her dad had bought her one

5. the fact that she was raped in Mexico

6. about how she received her injuries and

7. when she said that she was not involved in the shooting

It was testified during this trial that the only way the gun can discharge is if you pull the trigger.

When Yolanda Saldivar checked into the Days Inn, she had no extra bags and her clothes were not torn. The only thing the front desk clerk noticed was that she looked a little tired. Later, after the shooting, the clothes were torn with a big hole on the side, the v-neck ripped and a big tear along the inside of the pants, no tears were in the waist. Don't you think the clerk would have noticed if her clothes were torn up like that?

Norma Martinez heard Yolanda Saldivar say "bitch" after she heard a boom! Is that what you would call your best friend? You would not carry a gun that you've just shot your best friend with around if it's an accident.

She never told the hostage officer that it was an accident. She blamed it on everything except an accident. No files on the bed, no gun came out of the purse, the purse was locked in the safe. How could the defendant not know that she had shot Selena when there was blood all over the door and the entrance way to the room where she fired that fatal shot? Forget the accident, its hogwash.

Carlos Valdez's closing

I am asking that you find the defendant guilty, because she is. Use your common sense. Yolanda Saldivar lured Selena over to the motel by telling her she had the records. Yolanda Saldivar said it is like you have killed you own son, not like you've killed your best friend.

She had an opportunity to make changes to her statement but she never did. She even made marks on the document but she never added the word accident or waiving the gun. There is no evidence that this was a accident. If that is all a person has to do is shoot someone and just say it was an accident, we could never convict the person.

I made up a calendar to show you the events that happened leading up to the day that Yolanda Saldivar (pointing at her) shot and killed Selena Quintanilla Perez:

Meeting on March 9, accusing Yolanda Saldivar of theft.

March 10 Yolanda Saldivar goes to Quintanilla production and Abraham Quintanilla runs her off

March 11 Yolanda Saldivar goes and picks out a gun and pays a $100 deposit. Because of the law she can't just go purchase and pick, she has to wait.

March 13 She goes back to the gun store and pays her balance and picks up the gun. The same day a letter was signed found in her purse of resigning, but it was never signed.

March 15 For some strange reason she takes the gun back.

March 16 She is in Mexico with Selena

March 26 She fired Yolanda Saldivar without getting all the records.

March 27-30 Yolanda is in Mexico with her sister. She drops here sister off in San Antonio and picks up the gun.

March 30 Yolanda checks into the motel and calls Selena to come over to pick up the rest of the records but Yolanda couldn't shoot her that night because Selena's husband was waiting in the car. So she calls her again early the next morning to tell her she had been raped while she was in Mexico. Selena goes over and tells her its over, she's fired. Yolanda Saldivar pulls the gun out of her purse and shoots her in the back and calls her a bitch.

The defendant hates Abraham Quintanilla and this is how she hurt him, by killing his daughter.

I wish Selena could walk through that back door, with her smile lighting up this room and say "Come on Mom and Dad, let's go home."

Judge: The jury may now go to deliberate to decide this case.

The jury goes to the jury room to deliberate.