The trial of Yolanda Saldivar, 34, accused of killing her idol, singer
Selena, begins Monday (Oct. 9). Many of the Mexican singer's fans are
expected to turn up, according to Reuters news service. Yolanda
Saldivar, 34, is charged with shooting the
''Tejano Madonna'' on March 31 in a Corpus Christi, Texas hotel
in what prosecutors describe as a dispute over money.
The trial in Houston follows the not guilty
verdict in the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles, and
Nueces Country District Attorney Carlos Valdez has warned a
conviction may not be easy. "At the beginning of O.J., they said it was a
case. There's no such thing as a clear case,'' he told
reporters. Jury selection begins Monday.
The trial was moved from Corpus Christi, in Nueces County
about 200 miles southwest of Houston, because it was felt that an
impartial jury in Selena's hometown would not be found, Reuters
singer's death touched off a wave of emotion in the city, where
thousands of tearful fans attended her funeral.
Selena Quintanilla Perez, 23, was the queen of Tejano, the
Texas-born, Latino-flavored music popular in the U.S. Southwest
and Mexico. She won a Grammy for best Mexican-American album and
six Tejano Music Awards, including top female vocalist and
female entertainer of the year. Sometimes called the Tejano Madonna for the
sexy outfits she
paraded on stage, Selena died while in the midst of preparing
her first English-language album aimed at broadening her
audience. The record -- ``Dreaming of You'' -- became a top
seller in the United States upon release in June.
Saldivar founded and headed the Selena fan club and her life
was said to have revolved around the singer. Along with the
club, she managed two clothing boutiques owned by Selena. Prosecutors charge
that Selena discovered that Saldivar had
embezzled money from the fan club and boutique. She went to the
Corpus Christi hotel to fire her and ended up dead.
Saldivar could not accept the firing, according to Prosecutors, and began the
deadly dispute. After the shooting, Saldivar locked herself in a
car for nearly 10 hours and threatened to kill herself before
surrendering to police. Saldivar has confessed to the killing, but her
Douglas Tinker, says police omitted her statement that it was
accidental. Tinker has indicated he hopes to prove that Saldivar
unintentionally fired at Selena after pulling out a gun and
threatening to shoot herself. He also hinted that he would portray Saldivar
unwitting victim caught in the middle of a dispute between
Selena and her father, Abraham Quintanilla.
One hundred news
organizations have been accredited for coverage of the trial.