It’s been 24 years since Yolanda Saldívar was convicted of murdering Selena Quintanilla. Now, Saldívar is saying that key evidence was withheld from the jury. In a new interview with Radar Online. Saldívar said the prosecutor in the case — Carlos Valdez — who helped convict Saldívar of first-degree murder — disclosed he had evidence that was never introduced in the trial, which means the jury never knew about it. She is now asking for a retrial, according to the online publication.
Saldívar alleges that Valdez shared on a Spanish network interview that he had bloodied Reebok high-top sneakers and a black baseball cap as evidence, which were never presented during the trial. In the interview with Univision, Valdez said that the sneakers were worn by Saldívar and that she stepped on Selena’s blood, but Saldívar said that is not true. In the clip below, both items are shown as evidence.
According to Radar Online, Saldívar alleges that Valdez “impaired the verity of the evidence by not only withholding the evidence but claiming that those tennis shoes belonged to the defendant, inciting and infecting the public’s sediment even more against the Petitioner before, during and now with his recent media interview.”
Saldívar claims that the shoes were worn by Selena and were not shown during the trial because it would have hurt his case against her. “The prosecutor, Mr. Valdez, presented evidence of the trail of blood he states the victim left behind as she ran 130 yards (390 feet) from the room to the front lobby of the motel,” the court papers, which requests a retrial, state. “The ‘withholding’ of the victim’s shoes (i.e. White Reebok Tennis Shoes) are of a great consequence because if it is as Mr. Valdez claimed in his March 16, 2018 interview that the Petitioner ‘stepped’ on victim’s blood as she followed the victim, then ‘intent’ would have been proven or disproven. For 23 years, the jury nor the defense knew that such shoes existed.”
If Valdez withheld key evidence to prove that Saldívar had an intent to murder rather than show it was an accident, and the retrial request is approved, Saldívar may be able to get a lighter sentence or time served.
Valdez, however, wouldn’t be able to prosecute a retrial against Saldívar because he is now a judge. Furthermore, earlier this year, Valdez said himself that he would recuse himself from a trial in which the Quintanillas sued Chris Perez. Valdez said he was too close to the family to be a part of the trial against Perez. According to a local Texas news affiliate, Valdez “said during the whole process he became very close to both Perez and the Quintanilla family.”
It’s not rare for new evidence to be introduced in a retrial. It happens a lot, and if it did in the case of Saldívar, well, her fans would certainly be conflicted.