HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A mother is suing Harris County for the death of her daughter, Caitlynne Infinger Guajardo, who police said was stabbed to death by her husband, Alex Gaujardo, while he was out on multiple personal recognizance bonds.
Caitlynne’s mother, Melanie Infinger, and her attorney, Ben Crump, held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the lawsuit.
“No one should ever have to go through the pain of this happening to their family. It’s unfair,” Infinger said.
During the briefing, Infinger detailed her daughter’s death to illustrate “just how evil Alex is.”
On July 31, 2019, Alex Guajardo was arrested for assault and family violence for assaulting his wife and torturing and killing their family cat.
Crump said the district attorney’s office wanted a bond set, but a Harris County judge released Guajardo on personal recognizance instead, despite him being a repeat violent offender.
“I don’t think it takes rocket science to say we can’t let violent offenders just go with no consequence nor accountability,” Crump said.
On Aug. 3, 2019, Guajardo stabbed his pregnant wife 20 times, killing her and her unborn child, police said. Caitlynne was 17 weeks pregnant. Investigators say Gaujardo confessed to the crime.
“The anger and you just want to blame. Like, you want to point the finger. Like, who let him out,” Infinger said.
Infinger said that as Gaujardo stabbed his pregnant wife, he recorded the audio and left it as a voicemail for the woman’s best friend, saying “Here, Caitlynne wants to talk to you.”
Guajardo told a judge he killed his wife over marital issues and said he stabbed her in the stomach because he didn’t want another man to raise his child, according to investigators.
Infinger said Harris County needs better policies when it comes to bail reform.
“My daughter up until the time that she was stabbed to death thought that the system was protecting her and her baby,” she said.
Since 2018, 90 people in the Houston area have been killed by defendants released on various PR bonds and low dollar felony bonds, Andy Kahan, of Crime Stoppers of Houston, reported in February.
“I just remember thinking, ‘Who in their right mind would let out someone that killed a cat, that’s out on PR bonds already?” said Infinger, who added that she didn’t know how the PR bond system worked until after her daughter’s death.
“I just remember the anger I felt after finding out that he wasn’t on a bond and someone let him out, that the very people who promised to protect my daughter and promised to protect the public, that they basically slapped him on the wrist and let him out to kill my daughter and her unborn child,” Infinger continued. “There’s no justice. There’s no accountability. No one should ever have to go through the pain of this happening to their family. And it’s just unfair and it’s so wrong. Up until the time she was stabbed to death, my daughter thought that the system was protecting her and her baby.
Infinger said she was moved to do something constructive with her grief.
“I knew I had to turn my grief into something positive,” Infinger said. “I had to turn my grief into making a change … I never thought that the system would fail to this degree.”
Infinger shared her daughter’s story far and wide and in February, Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) announced he had filed SB 532, known as Caitlynne’s bill, to limit the use of personal recognizance bonds and impose more harsh cash bail limits on defendants charged with multiple felonies.
The legislation would prohibit magistrates from releasing a defendant on a PR bond for offenses committed while out on an existing PR bond, or on a felony offense when two or more other felony charges are pending against the defendant. His proposed legislation set a $10,000 minimum amount of bail per offense in felony cases where the defendant is accused of three or more felonies.
“Caitlynne’s case is one of many tragedies that have hit the Houston community in the past couple years,” said Senator Bettencourt.
“The safety of our law enforcement officers and the public are being put at risk,” Bettencourt said in a February release.
Now, Enfinger and her attorney said they hope the lawsuit will encourage bail reform in Harris County.
“If we don’t do something about this, it could be your child next, so we have to do better,” Crump said. “This lawsuit is about trying to push forward a better policy.”
Watch the Wednesday media briefing in its entirety here: