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U Of U Shooter Faces Murder, Kidnapping Charges

Golden Police Department

Salt Lake prosecutors have brought more than a dozen charges against Austin Boutain, the man accused of killing a University of Utah student last month.

The 24-year-old’s charges, filed Thursday, include felony murder and attempted murder, along with kidnapping, robbery and weapons possession. If convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty.

His wife, Kathleen Boutain, faces six charges of robbery and possessing stolen goods.

New details from the indictment show that the two were camping in the foothills the night of October 30 when they hatched a plan to kidnap or kill someone in order to get a car and head to Tennessee. They planned to ditch a stolen truck to keep law enforcement off their tracks.

The indictment states that Austin Boutain shot a round into a car he intended to steal near Red Butte Canyon. One bullet hit 23-year-old University of Utah student ChenWei Guo, who died at the scene.

Chen Wei’s friend, Xiaoying Ding, escaped after throwing her phone to distract Boutain. Charges show he fired a gun at her as she ran away. Boutain admitted to trying to kill her, and to shooting ChenWei. 

University police were called to the Heritage Center on campus that night, where Boutain’s wife, Kathleen, told officers her husband had guns, had already killed someone, and was planning to kill another in order to steal a car.

She also admitted she and her spouse had killed another man in Colorado, 63-year-old Mitchell Bradford Ingle, who was discovered dead in his trailer. They stole the man’s guns and truck before heading to Utah. 

University police and other agencies, in response to reports of gunshots, conducted an overnight manhunt. Austin Boutain was taken into custody after a librarian spotted him the next day at the downtown library.

Upon searching the abandoned campsite near Red Butte, police found property belonging to the man they killed in Colorado, as well as the Boutains’ identification cards, guns, ammunition and knives.

Boutain is being held without bail, while his wife’s bail is set at $1 million. The couple may also face charges in Colorado. 

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