Local News

Mar 31, 2014 1:24 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

South Texas Remembers Fallen Superstar, Selena

CORPUS CHRISTI - Monday marks the 19th anniversary of the death of Tejano music superstar, Selena Quintanilla-Perez.

Carlos Valdez, the prosecutor for her trial, says even though the case was tried back in 1995, he remembers the shooting like it was yesterday.

"Selena was shot and killed by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar," Valdez said.

Selena, a South Texas sweetheart and superstar singer was silenced by a single gunshot, nearly two decades ago. Valdez was District Attorney at the time of the murder and prosecuted Yolanda Saldivar at trial.

"Preparing for a murder case is always difficult and in this case it was even more difficult because of the profound sense of loss that the family had," he added.

Only 23 years old, Selena had already achieved super stardom and her future seemed assured. However, Valdez says Saldivar's mind was fueled by a combination of ugly emotions.

"There was rage and anger toward Mr. Quintanilla and there's was some revenge also involved," Valdez said.

He says he faced intense pressure as a prosecutor, aiming for nothing short of a life sentence for Saldivar.

"She has to serve until April 1st of 2025 before she's eligible for parole," Valdez added.

But her murderer's conviction doesn't ease the pain of her loss. Selena was laid to rest at Seaside Memorial. Many fans still pay their respects and even to this day, the Selena Statue gets visitors from all over the world.

"We knew that there was a Selena statue so we just wanted to come and take a picture with her too," a fan said.

Though Selena is gone, her songs, statue and spirit live on, in the sparkling city by the sea.

As for Saldivar, immediately after the shooting, she held police off during a 10 hour standoff. She sat in her truck with the gun to her own head. Eventually, she was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

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