AUSTIN - "Public safety is at higher risk when habitual offenders recognize that shortly following the nuisance of an arrest they will be released right back into the community over and over again," said Rania Mankarious CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston.
For more than a year now, FOX 26 has been telling you how at least 90 people have died at the hands of repeat violent offenders freed by judges who grant them multiple felony bonds or PR bonds.
"It’s created more crime victims than I’ve seen in my 30 years of working in the criminal justice victim advocacy field," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
"We’re passing these things out like popcorn at the courthouse," said state Sen. Paul Bettencourt who has filed Senate Bill 532.
He’s calling it Caitlynne’s Law.
We first told you how Melanie Infinger lost her 20-year-old daughter Caitlynne and her unborn grandchild because 23-year-old Alex Guajardo was free from jail on PR bonds.
"Caitlynne had him arrested the Wednesday before she was murdered for assault," Infinger said. "He was arrested for assaulting her and also for killing her cat."
Eighteen hours after a judge released Guajardo on yet another PR bond he confessed to stabbing Caitlynne and her unborn child 20 times.
State Rep. Dan Huberty has this message for Harris County Criminal District Court judges and magistrates.
"Stop what you are doing number one and number two go back to work and start adjudicating these criminals and put them back where they belong jail," he said.
"Our last two officer-involved shootings that we’ve had Both involve people who shot at our officers first," said Doug Griffith with the Houston Police Patrolmen Union. "All of them were out on PR bonds It emboldens them to go out and commit even more crimes and be more violent."
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, and Harris County DA Kim Ogg are all in support of Caitlynne’s Law, which in its current form would stop judges from giving defendants who commit a crime while out on a PR bond even more PR bonds.
"I don’t care what you look like where you sleep who you work for what political party you are with we need everybody to fix this problem because it can’t continue anymore," Bettencourt said.