Household of Houston lady allegedly stabbed by husband is suing Harris County over bail coverage – Houston Public Media
Caitlynne Infinger Guajardo was allegedly stabbed 20 times in August 2019 by her husband, who at the time had a cashless bond. Your mother is now suing Harris County.
The mother of a woman allegedly killed by her husband while he was on bail two years ago has filed a federal lawsuit against Harris County and 26 criminal judges and judges, claiming the county’s bail policy led directly to her death.
Alex Guajardo is accused of stabbing his wife Caitlynne Guajardo 20 times in August 2019. Both she and her unborn baby died.
Her mother, Melanie Infinger, blames Harris County’s bail reform for Caitlynne’s death because her husband was bailed out for assault at the time of the murder.
This reform, which went into effect in early 2019, was in response to a lawsuit brought by Maranda O’Donnell, who was arrested in May 2016 for an invalid driver’s license and jailed in the Harris County Jail for three days for not being able to afford the Security deposit of $ 2,500.
Harris County’s bail program now requires judges to release the majority of the defendants free of charge. Those charged with certain crimes, such as domestic violence, must go before a judge. In order to issue a cash bail, the magistrate must have “clear and convincing evidence” of the defendant’s solvency or that no less restrictive condition would ensure the defendant’s appearance in court, under the law of the Harris County Criminal Court.
Infinger has hired civil rights attorney Ben Crump, best known nationwide for representing black victims of police violence, including the family of George Floyd.
Crump said he understood the need to limit excessive borrowings that disproportionately affect poor defendants, “but there cannot be the extreme on the other side of the spectrum where violent perpetrators have no consequences for their actions.”
Crumps co-attorney Brian Mazzola said that while Harris County’s bail reform was sold to the public to ensure poor people were not put at a disadvantage in the criminal justice system, he believed it went way beyond that.
“At some point it became clear that (reform) was really just a ploy to get everyone out,” he said. “Regardless of whether it was a violent crime or not.”
Two independent observer reports released in September 2020 and March 2021 found that the bail reform did not lead to an increase in the arrests of recidivists in Harris County.
Phillip Lyons, dean of the Criminal Justice Center at Sam Houston State University, said there will always be people committing violent crimes while out on low or cashless borrowings, but that doesn’t necessarily justify scrapping a reform that was meant to be is staying poor. non-violent people from prison.
“Of course, if, like many, you believe that ‘one too many’ is your only choice is not to let anyone go for anything,” Lyons wrote in an email.
Infinger said she filed the lawsuit to seek change.
“That happens too often and that is what this lawsuit is about,” she said.
The lawsuit seeks indefinite damages and the court to declare Harris County’s bail reform in violation of applicable rules.
The Harris County Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the lawsuit at the time.
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