Where Is Yolanda Saldívar Now? All About the Prison Sentence of Selena's Killer

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Yolanda Saldívar, who was found guilty of murdering Selena Quintanilla in October 1995, speaks out in a new Oxygen docuseries



Selena Quintanilla’s death rocked the music industry when she was tragically killed in 1995.

Just two weeks ahead of what would have been her 24th birthday, the Tejano superstar was fatally shot by Yolanda Saldívar, who'd been the president of the singer's fan club.

While Selena’s family has kept her memory alive in the years following her death, her killer Saldívar has rarely spoken publicly until now.

In a new Oxygen True Crime docuseries titled Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them, Saldívar speaks out almost 30 years after the Grammy winner’s slaying.

Here’s everything to know about the crimes Saldívar committed and where she is now.

Who is Yolanda Saldívar?



Born on Sept. 19, 1960, in San Antonio, Texas, Saldívar was a registered nurse before she came to know Selena. After seeing the singer in concert, she reportedly called Selena's father Abraham Quintanilla about starting a fan club.

Through the fan club, where she served as the president, Saldívar infiltrated herself into Selena’s life, becoming one of her close friends and a business associate. Eventually, she was promoted as manager of Selena's clothing boutiques, Selena Etc., giving her access to Selena’s business checking accounts.

According to those close to Selena, Saldívar began to show obsessive behavior. Selena’s fashion designer, Martin Gomez, told The Washington Post that Saldívar was often difficult to work with.

"She'd get, like, very angry if you crossed her,” Gomez told the publication. “She would play so many mind games, say people had said things they hadn't said,” he explained. “So many things would happen to the clothing I was working on. I knew that I had finished a certain piece, but I would come back from a trip to New York and the hems would be ripped out. It was very strange."

"The last call I had with Selena, the last call, I told her to be careful," Gomez recalled. "It was very weird. I was very afraid of Yolanda. But I never thought she would hurt Selena. I never thought it would come to this."

What crimes did Yolanda Saldívar commit?

Things took a turn in early 1995 as Selena’s father became suspicious that Saldívar was embezzling money after several employees informed him that they had overdue payments on their payrolls.

On March 9, 1995, Abraham, Selena and her sister Suzette confronted Saldívar and accused her of stealing money from the boutiques and the fan club. As a result, Abraham fired Saldívar.

Two days after Selena confronted her, Saldívar applied for a permit to purchase a gun from a gun store in San Antonio, witnesses testified during her trial, per the Associated Press. At the time, Saldívar told gun store employees that family members of mentally ill people for whom she worked had made threats against her, according to the AP. She bought the gun that killed the singer on March 26, five days before the murder, per the AP.

On March 31, Selena agreed to meet Saldívar at a Days Inn motel in Corpus Christi to retrieve various financial records Saldívar still had in her possession. However, during their meeting, Saldívar delayed handing over the papers, alleging she had been raped the night before, per USA Today. Per the publication, Selena then took Saldívar to the hospital for examination, where doctors found no evidence of rape.

As the two returned to the motel, Selena demanded the paperwork again. Saldívar then pulled out her gun and shot the singer in the back, severing an artery. Selena was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead from blood loss and cardiac arrest.

What was Yolanda Saldívar’s prison sentence?



After shooting Selena, Saldívar remained in the motel’s parking lot, where she locked herself in her truck and threatened to kill herself, per The New York Times.

She eventually surrendered and was arrested and later charged with first-degree murder.

A trial was held at the Harris County Criminal Courthouse in Houston, Texas, starting on Oct. 9, 1995. Before the trial in April 1995, Saldívar was arraigned and pleaded not guilty, with her defense attorneys arguing that the fatal shooting was an accident and that Saldivar was trying to kill herself not Selena, per CNN.

On Oct. 23, a verdict was reached and Saldívar was found guilty of murder. She was later sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 30 years.

Where is Yolanda Saldívar now?



Saldívar is currently serving a life sentence at the Patrick O'Daniel Unit in Gatesville, Texas, which is operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Per her sentence, she will become eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.

Saldívar has only given a handful of interviews in the years following Selena’s murder. During an interview with ABC’s “20/20” in 1995, she maintained that she did not deliberately kill Selena, saying “They made me out to be a monster, and I just want to say, I did not kill Selena. It was an accident, and my conscience is clear.”

In the new Oxygen True Crime docuseries Selena & Yolanda: The Secrets Between Them, Saldívar speaks from prison as she discusses her professional and personal relationship with Selena. Per a press release from Oxygen, Saldívar’s family also speaks out “for the first time” as they “share never-before-revealed documents and recordings in an effort to show there was more to the tragedy than the public knows.”

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