Kathleen Boutain pleads guilty to theft in connection with 2017 U. student murder case

Kathleen Boutain pleads guilty to theft in connection with 2017 U. student murder case

(Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office)

Save Story

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of theft in connection with a two-state crime spree that culminated in the October 30, 2017 murder of University of Utah student ChenWei Guo.

Kathleen Boutain, 25, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by receiving stolen property Monday in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County, according to court documents.

She originally was charged with three counts criminal solicitation and an additional count of theft by receiving stolen property, but those charges were dropped Monday as part of Boutain’s plea agreement with prosecutors, court documents show.

Boutain’s husband, 25-year-old Austin “AJ” Boutain, pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in September 2018. He is currently serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole, which he agreed to as part of a plea deal.

The violent case began in Golden, Colorado on Oct. 27, 2017, after the Boutains spent a night partying with 63-year-old Mitchell Ingle. Austin Boutain allegedly got angry that Ingle was flirting with Kathleen.

He allegedly killed Ingle, stole his truck and fled to Utah with his wife.

Less than an hour before Guo was found dead above the U. campus in Red Butte Canyon on Oct. 30, 2017, Kathleen Boutain met with police, according to charging documents. She told police Austin Boutain had already killed someone, had two guns and was going to kill someone else in an attempt to get a vehicle, charging documents state.

About 40 minutes later, U. campus security officers found Guo dead in the driver’s seat of his car in a parking lot in Red Butte Canyon. Austin Boutain had shot the man five times, killing him, according to charging documents.

Austin Boutain fled the area, but was arrested on Nov. 1, 2017, at the downtown branch of the Salt Lake City Library after a library staffer spotted him.

In a subsequent interview with police, Kathleen Boutain told investigators that she and her husband had made a plan to rob and kill Ingle, according to charging documents. She told police she helped Austin Boutain steal guns, knives and a truck from Ingle, charges state.

She also told police that when they arrived in Utah, Austin Boutain gave the truck away to a couple so they would not have to otherwise get rid of the truck, according to the charges.

The couple then came up with a plan to kidnap or kill someone else in order to get another vehicle to continue traveling, Kathleen Boutain told police, according to charging documents. She took their belongings down from their campsite in Red Butte Canyon so that they could make a quick getaway after they found a vehicle, she told police.

However, Kathleen Boutain told police she became angry because Austin Boutain was taking too long to find a victim, according to charging documents. She insulted him because he did not want to take a car while it was still daylight, charging documents state.

He “pistol whipped” her with a gun, and then she ran away to find help and contacted police, charging documents state.

Police found several items of Ingle’s property, including a rifle, ammunition and several knives, in the Red Butte Canyon parking lot where Guo was killed, and at the Boutains’ campsite further up the canyon, charging documents state. They also found identification cards for the Boutains there.

The two also were wearing Ingle's clothing, charging documents state.

Investigators found Ingle’s truck with a man and woman on Nov. 3 in Rawlings, Wyoming. The couple told investigators they got the truck from Austin and Kathleen Boutain in Salt Lake County, and that Austin Boutain told them he had taken the truck from an old man.

Prosecutors intend to request a prison sentence for Kathleen Boutain, her plea agreement states. Her sentencing is set for July 8, according to court records.

The charge carries a prison sentence of between one and 15 years, as well as a $10,000 fine, according to the plea agreement.

Criminal cases in Colorado for both Kathleen and Austin Boutain are pending, according to Jefferson County (Colorado) District Attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell.

Kathleen Boutain faces 20 felony charges in Colorado, including first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and other offenses, according to Russell.

After she is sentenced in Utah, officials in Colorado likely will try to bring her to the state to prosecute her there, Russell said. However, since Kathleen Boutain has been in custody in Utah since she was arrested in 2017, she has yet to make a court appearance in Colorado, Russell said.

Austin Boutain also has been in Utah since he was arrested in 2017 and has not yet made any court appearances in Colorado, Russell said. Officials in Jefferson County are hoping to bring him to the state for an initial court appearance and arraignment within the next week, she said.

Austin Boutain has been charged with 19 felonies in Colorado, including first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, motor vehicle theft and other offenses, Russell said.

Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast