Selena Murder Trial Begins Monday

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

very clear

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

reports. The

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

lawyer,

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

as an

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.