Yolanda Saldívar Had the Gall to Ask for a New Trial

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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To many of us, Yolanda Saldívar is she who must not be named. In 1995, Saldívar shot and killed Selena. La Reina’s former fan club president is up for parole in 2025, but, as revealed, she wants a new trial.

On March 28, Saldívar filed a second writ of habeas corpus, where she accused prosecutor Carlos Valdez of holding evidence that would have helped her. She also said that two decades after the trial, Valdez spoke to Spanish-language media about the evidence.

“The petitioner paraphrases Mr. Valdez’s media interview where he stated that he and the defense counsel, the late Mr. Douglas Tinker, discussed what [evidence] would or would not be introduced to the jury,” the filing read. “How could this be? It is the jury, no less, that would decide the fate of the petitioner, between [life] in prison and [freedom]. The jury, NOT the defense or the prosecutor is the trier of fact of all relevant material evidence and they alone should and DID determine between conviction and acquittal.”

“The prosecutor, Mr. Valdez, presented evidence of the trail of blood he states the victim left behind as she ran 130 yards (390 feet) from the room to the front lobby of the motel,” the court papers read. “The ‘withholding’ of the victim’s shoes (i.e. White Reebok Tennis Shoes) are of a great consequence because if it is as Mr. Valdez claimed in his March 16, 2018 interview that the Petitioner ‘stepped’ on victim’s blood as she followed the victim, then ‘intent’ would have been proven or disproven. For 23 years, the jury nor the defense knew that such shoes existed.”