HOUSTON — A jury sentenced the killer of Tejano singing star Selena to the maximum penalty of life in prison Thursday, meaning Yolanda Saldivar will be locked up until at least 2025 before becoming eligible for parole.
A cheer went up outside the courthouse from fans of the Grammy-winning singer, and car horns blared.
The jury deliberated nine hours over two days before deciding among seven punishment options, ranging from probation to the life sentence.
Defense attorneys had argued that Saldivar, 35, who went from Selena fan club founder to manager of her boutiques, had paid a heavy enough penalty with her murder conviction and should get probation. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum.
Prosecutors had contended that Saldivar deliberately shot Selena because she was about to be fired for embezzling $30,000.