Selena Fan Club
Yolanda was initially a Tejano music fan and disliked Selena. She became Selena’s fan in mid-1991, after attending one of her concerts in San Antonio, Texas. Yolanda not only liked her music but her stage presence as well.
Yolanda decided to start a Selena fan club in San Antonio. According to Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla, Yolanda messaged him fifteen times to discuss the idea and got permission for the same.Yolanda, however, later said that she had sent only three messages. Yolanda finally met him and got the approval.
Yolanda started the club in June 1991 and became the president. She specified an amount for the membership and also offered extra perks for Selena’s fans. All the earnings from the club members went to charities.
Yolanda first met Selena in December 1991 and the two eventually became good friends. She also won the trust of the ‘Quintanilla’ family. Yolanda went on to become the "most efficient assistant" Selena ever had. She would do anything to impress Selena and her family.
Yolanda later gave up her nursing job and devoted all her time to the club. She was, however, earning much lesser than what she was as an in-house nurse. By 1993, Selena fan club became one of the largest fan clubs in the San Antonio area.
In 1994, when Selena launched her boutique, 'Selena Etc.,' with branches in Corpus Christi and San Antonio; she thought of appointing Yolanda as its manager. In January 1994, Yolanda officially started managing the boutiques. She moved to Corpus Christi to be closer to Selena.
Yolanda became Selena’s registered agent in September 1994. She was responsible for writing and encashing checks and also handled transactions of boutiques and the club.
Selena also gave Yolanda access to her 'American Express' card, but it was strictly for business purposes, which Yolanda, however, used for her luxury purchases.
By December 1994, Selena’s boutiques were in financial crisis. Yolanda, on the other hand, started firing employees she did not like.
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Boutique staff began complaining about Yolanda that she mistreated everyone in Selena’s absence. Since Selena blindly trusted Yolanda hence she did not believe in those complaints. So the employees took their concerns to her father.
In January 1995, Selena's cousin, Debra Ramirez, joined her to help in business expansion. She, however, quit within a week, citing the staff' inefficiency to report sales. Ramirez also reported missing sales receipts of several boutique items. Yolanda also tried to brainwash Selena against her designer Martin Gomez.
On March 9, 1995, Selena and her father confronted Yolanda about her mismanagement and misappropriation of funds to which she failed to give any explanation. Selena’s father also discovered the fan club's bank account was registered under Yolanda’s sister's name (Maria Elida).
Selena decided to fire Yolanda but did not. She also did not cut ties with her as Yolanda had all her financial documents, which she would need for tax purposes. On March 10, 1995, Selena removed Yolanda from the boutique's bank account and replaced her with Irene Herrera as the club’s president.
According to Selena’s father, Yolanda attempted to murder her at least three times. During her first attempt on March 11, 1995, around two weeks before she was shot, Selena learned that Yolanda had a gun. After the first failed attempt, Yolanda returned her 'Taurus Model' .38-caliber revolver.
Yolanda and Selena went on a trip to Tennessee to finish recording for her first crossover album. Selena asked her to return the missing bank statements.
Yolanda’s next attempt was on March 27 at a motel. Selena was saved due to the presence of a mob of her fans.
On the morning of March 31, Yolanda called Selena alone at 'Days Inn' motel in Corpus Christi to return the documents. However, she made an excuse, saying she was raped a couple of days back. When Selena took her to the hospital for a medical check-up, doctors did not find any sign of rape.
After they returned to the motel, Selena and Yolanda had a heated argument. Yolanda pointed the revolver at the singer, and when she tried to run away, Yolanda pulled the trigger. The bullet severed Selena's artery causing a massive blood loss. She was immediately taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 1:05 pm.
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Back in the motel, police chased Yolanda to the parking lot where she threatened to commit suicide. After hours of negotiations, Yolanda gave up.
Trial & Imprisonment
During the trial, the defence lawyer argued that she had accidentally shot Selena, which the prosecution countered by mentioning Yolanda’s background as a trained nurse and that she did not try to help Selena in any way.
Moreover, Yolanda’s gun was so designed that the trigger could not be pulled if not done intentionally. The judge passed the order with the charge of first-degree murder. On October 23, 1995, Yolanda was found guilty of first-degree murder, and three days later, she was sentenced life imprisonment.
On November 22, 1995, Yolanda was taken to the 'Gatesville Unit' (now the 'Christina Melton Crain Unit') in Gatesville, Texas, for further proceedings.
Yolanda is currently serving her sentence at the 'Mountain View Unit' in Gatesville and will be eligible for parole on March 30, 2025.
Yolanda filed a petition at the ‘Texas Court of Criminal Appeals’ challenging her conviction. She, however, claims that the higher court did not receive the petition, which was filed in 2000 with the 214th District Court.
Finally, the higher court received the petition on March 31, 2008.
In March 2019, Yolanda requested a new trial on the basis that a piece of evidence was accessible to the prosecution but not to the defense. Former prosecutor Carlos Valdez rejected the claim producing proof that the evidence had always existed in a spot that was accessible to both the teams of attorneys.