Open Court: ‘Selena: The Series’ lawsuit moves forward, border serial killer going to trial in 2022, get to know Judge Velia Meza

Reporter Debrief: Introducing ‘Open Court,’ a newsletter for trial junkies

Sign up for this free newsletter to get a dispatch from courts reporter Erica Hernandez each week.

The Quintanilla family resolving its years-long legal issues with Chris Perez made headlines this week, but the family is still dealing with a lawsuit in California.

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The producer of the movie “Selena” filed a lawsuit citing that Abraham & Suzette Quintanilla violated a contract over Selena’s life rights by making the Netflix series based on her life.

The new series did not include Moctesuma Esparza and he alleges he had a joint venture with Abraham Quintanilla to hold on to rights until the expiration of the copyright of the movie.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, an L.A. Superior Court Judge ruled that Esparza’s contract claim has enough merit to advance the suit.

The judge also accepts claims of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of fair dealing, unjust enrichment, negligent misrepresentation and fraudulent concealment.

The lawsuit Esparza filed is also against Netflix, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Q-Productions and he is seeking $1 million in damages.

I will continue to follow this lawsuit as it moves forward.

The Docket:

Here’s a look at trials and court proceedings we can expect in the coming weeks. These dates are subject to change and could be reset. At this time, jury trials are still not taking place.

Linda Collier Mason: Charged with intoxicated manslaughter and accused of allegedly hitting and killing well-known San Antonio cyclist Tito Bradshaw - hearing on Oct. 5

Eric Trevino: Charged with capital murder in the death of a 3-year-old boy and also charged with a jail escape in 2018 - possible trial date set for Oct. 20.

Andre McDonald: Charged with the murder of his wife in 2019 - possible trial date set for Oct. 22

Get to know:

Judge Velia Meza

226th Judge Velia Meza (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, 226th Criminal District Court Judge Velia Meza has come a long way.

She and her parents immigrated to El Paso when she was a child, and she is the first in her family to attend college.

She got her undergraduate degree from Columbia University in New York City and then came to San Antonio in 1997 to attend St. Mary’s Law School.

The Alamo City has been her home ever since.

Before being elected to judge in 2018 she was an attorney in private practice for 17 years and practiced criminal defense throughout Texas in 37 counties.

The most rewarding part of the job for this judge is seeing the transformation people go through when then they have a structure that works while on probation.

" I see people sometimes at their lowest point, and I try to structure a way for them to succeed,” Meza said.

When not in the courtroom Meza enjoys being outdoors with her family.

Legal Glossary:

There are often terms used in a courtroom that sound more like legal jargon than natural language. Even after years of covering court proceedings, I sometimes have to look up words to refresh my memory or make sure I fully understand them. In each newsletter, I include a different word or phrase so we can build our knowledge and understanding of the courtroom together.

Deposition: This is a witness’s sworn testimony that is given outside of a trial. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and can be used at trial. Both sides have the right to be present when it takes place. A deposition gives each side the opportunity to find out what the witness will say during the trial.

Closing Arguments:

On Sept. 9 a hearing was held in Webb County for a former Border Patrol agent accused of being a serial killer.

Juan David Ortiz is accused of murdering 4 women and attacking another who got away.

These murders were committed during a two-week span in 2018.

It looks like this case will finally go to trial in 2022.

According to court records, jury selection will begin on March 28 and depending on how long that takes the trial could begin in April or May.

Ortiz is represented by defense attorneys Joel Perez and Raymond Fuchs, who both recently defended Otis McKane.

I will be following this trial when it does take place next year to bring you all the latest.

Thanks so much for reading, trial junkies,

Erica Hernandez, KSAT 12 Courts Reporter

For more on local coverage, visit the Courts page:

About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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