Confession in Selena Death Is Inaccurate, Ranger Says

From Associated Press

The police officer who took down Yolanda Saldivar’s signed confession to killing singer Selena left out her claim that it was an accident, a Texas Ranger testified Wednesday.

“She hesitated to sign the statement because it didn’t have the word accident or accidental ,” Robert Garza said at Saldivar’s murder trial. “It didn’t reflect what she had stated, according to her.”

Judge Mike Westergren ruled the confession admissible despite defense claims that police reneged on a promise, made during a 9 1/2-hour standoff with a suicidal Saldivar, to let her immediately talk with a lawyer.


The defense says a hysterical Saldivar shot the 23-year-old Grammy-winning Tejano singer accidentally at a motel March 31.

Prosecutors say the woman who rose from president of Selena’s fan club to manager of her clothing boutiques deliberately killed Selena when they met to discuss the singer’s accusation that Saldivar had embezzled $30,000.

The signed confession says: “I took the gun from my purse and Selena started walking towards the door, which was opened. I pulled the hammer back and I shot at her as she was walking towards the door, which was open.” It makes no mention of an accident.

Garza, who watched the interrogation by Corpus Christi police officers, said he heard Saldivar say that she “pulled a gun out of her purse, held it to her own head. She said she had the hammer back. She said that in a gesture to Selena, she told her to close the door and the gun went off.”

He said he filed a supplemental report because it looked to him like Saldivar wavered before signing.

Saldivar held police at bay and threatened suicide in the motel parking lot as a bleeding Selena lay dying in the lobby. Saldivar, 35, could get life in prison.

At a hearing Tuesday, the defense argued that officers should have made good on their promise to let her immediately see a lawyer if she surrendered.

But Dist. Atty. Carlos Valdez said the promise was not binding.

“You can promise the moon ‘if you come out,’ ” Valdez said. “And if they come out, they’re going to pull down the moon? They’re going to promise anything that’s necessary to save a life.”