The legacy of Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla could never be overstated. Her music spanned generations and countries long before the internet and social media allowed new music to be discovered from anywhere in the world. She was an artist and a brand, securing her spot as one of the most successful female singers of all time. Few people could get by with simply one name, but everyone knew who Selena was.
When Selena was murdered on March 31, 1995 by a former friend and business associate, the world mourned the loss of who she was and what she could have become. Sadness was replaced by rage directed towards the woman who selfishly took Selena away from family, friends, and fans. Yolanda Saldívar was responsible, and she soon paid the price with a lengthy prison sentence. However, her time behind bars might nearly be up. When is Saldívar getting released? Here's what we know.
When is Yolanda Saldívar getting released? She will be eligible for parole in 2025.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Saldívar will be eligible for parole on March 30, 2025 after being handed a life sentence in October 1995. On the day of her sentencing, Judge Mike Westergren of the State District Court of Nueces County asked Saldívar if she had anything to say to the court, per The New York Times. "No sir," she replied while quietly sobbing.
After the trial, the jury informed chief prosecutor Carlos Valdez that, "this type of behavior will not be tolerated in an organized society." Saldívar's attorney, Doug Tinker, revealed that the jury told him they "thought she was guilty and should get life." It only took the jury just two hours to reach a guilty verdict but sentencing Saldivar was something they discussed for nine hours over the course of two days.
Both Selena and Saldívar's parents were at the trial.
Saldívar's side of the courtroom was quiet apart from her mother who was the only member of her family who showed up every day of the trial, per Texas Monthly. At times Juanita was joined by "one of her six other children and various nieces and nephews." While there, she was dressed more like a grandmother than a mother, wrapped in a sweater as if to keep the horrors out.
Her father, Frank Saldívar, took the stand at one point to beg the jury to take pity on his "baby girl." He had recently retired as head waiter at Jacala Restaurant in San Antonio, and undoubtedly had other plans for his retirement years. After she was sentenced, the Saldívars hugged and kissed their daughter goodbye.
Selena's mother Marcella was equally as distraught and had to exit the courtroom during the testimony from motel maintenance worker Trinidad Espinoza who shared Selena's last moments. Abraham Quintanilla processed his grief a bit differently by choosing to monetize his daughter's memory in every way possible. Not only did he start a foundation in her name but he announced his role as executive producer in an upcoming movie about her life. Two sets of parents, both devastated.