HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A lawsuit that takes aim at judges in Harris County over bonds for people accused of violent crimes has been filed on behalf of the family of a mother who was murdered in 2019.
Attorneys representing the family of Caitlynne Guajardo filed the suit Tuesday evening against Harris County over the issue.
Alex Guajardo was arrested in July 2019 on accusations that he assaulted Caitlynne, who was his wife, and killed their cat. A judge released Alex Guajardo on a personal recognizance bond, which means he paid no money to go free.
"The very people that promised to protect my daughter and promise to protect y'all, they basically slapped him on the wrist, and let him out to kill my daughter and her unborn child," Caitlynne's mother, Melanie Infinger, said Wednesday. "No one should ever have to go through the pain of this happening to their family."
FULL NEWS CONFERENCE: Family of murdered pregnant woman sues over suspect's bond
Caitlynne Guajardo was stabbed 20 times in Aug. 2019. She and her unborn child died, and Alex Guajardo was arrested in connection with the killing.
A bill calling for limiting judges' ability to set low bond was introduced in the Texas Senate two years ago, but it never made it out of the upper chamber. A bail reform measure was also on the House agenda during the special legislative session this year, but the quorum-break by Texas Democrats has stopped all business in the lower chamber.
Attorneys for Caitlynne's family said they're not waiting to push for change.
"As long as the law stays the way that it is in Harris County, it's going to continue to happen," attorney Brian Mazzola said. "Alex Guajardo had been out on multiple PR bonds, essentially 'get out of jail free' cards. No accountability. That's it. Nothing."
Mazzola was joined by attorney Ben Crump, who pointed to the difference between excessive bonds and the need to protect the public against repeat violent offenders.
"I'm a civil rights attorney to my core," Crump said. "I understand completely the arguments against excessive bail. I understand completely the rights enumerated in the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, that we have prohibition against excessive bail."
"This is not what we have here today in this tragedy," Crump went on to say.
ABC13 is reaching out to Harris County officials for reaction to the suit.