clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Man in U. student killing creating trouble in jail, warrant says

Inmate has shown ability to make weapons to attack, escape shackles, police say

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of shooting and killing a University of Utah student in a carjacking attempt near Red Butte Garden has been causing quite a bit of trouble while incarcerated at the Salt Lake County Jail, according to a newly unsealed search warrant affidavit.

Austin "AJ" Boutain, 24, is charged with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and a potential capital offense for the death of U. student ChenWei Guo, 23. Boutain and his wife, Kathleen Boutain, are accused of committing a two-state crime spree that started in Golden, Colorado, where AJ Boutain allegedly killed Mitchell Bradford Ingle, 63, in his RV on Oct. 27.

Boutain has been in custody since Oct. 31. Since his arrest, he has been charged with aggravated assault by a prisoner and possession of a prohibited item in a correctional facility, both second-degree felonies, for allegedly attacking another inmate with a pair of sharpened nail clippers on Jan. 14.

That incident was just one of several problems Boutain has created for corrections deputies since being incarcerated, according to the warrant filed in 3rd District Court.

"Boutain has a history of fashioning weapons out of items issued or found at the jail as a means of aggravated assault by prisoner … or escape from his handcuffs. He also has a history of self-harm," the warrant states.

At least five cases to investigate criminal activity have been opened since Boutain arrived at the jail on Oct. 31, according to the affidavit.

On March 5, Boutain was believed to have "brandished a weapon … inside his cell," the warrant states. He was questioned by a sheriff's lieutenant about the weapon the next day and allegedly confirmed that he had one.

"Lt. Beasley asked Boutain multiple times if he would surrender the weapon, which he replied, 'I can’t.' Lt. Beasley asked Boutain for further clarification, wanting to know if he was able and unwilling or willing and unable. Boutain advised her that he was not willing to surrender the weapon," according to the warrant.

A scanner was used in an attempt to locate the weapon.

"Boutain admitted to Lt. Beasley the weapon is made from metal and that he has discovered a way to conceal it from the scanner," the warrant states.

An "object with two straight lines connected by a curved line" was located inside Boutain's body. "It appeared Boutain was clinching the muscles in his buttocks," according to the affidavit.

Investigators noted that it wasn't the first time Boutain had attempted to hide objects in his body.

In one case, he took a screw from a light cover and hid it in his nasal cavity, the warrant states. In another case, a deputy overheard Boutain telling another prisoner "that he has concealed an item in his rectal cavity."

In a third incident, "Boutain threatened to cause bodily harm and/or death to deputies with the knife, or 'shank' created by Boutain using a piece of metal, approximately 12 inches long, from a recreation yard door. Boutain stated he had made two 'shanks' and his intent was to stab and kill (jail) deputies. One shank was recovered, the other was never located," according to the affidavit.

For the March incident, investigators told Boutain that he either had to turn over the item or "he could be transported to the hospital to have medical personnel retrieve and remove it."

Because of Bountain's "propensity for violence" and "his creativity in fashioning weapons and items to aid his escape from shackles," deputies wrote a warrant requesting further scans and X-rays at a local hospital and "the extraction of — using the least invasive medical procedure — any found foreign object."

The object was not removed by doctors because the warrant did not specify extracting it "without consent," according to the affidavit. It was not immediately known Monday if a second warrant was written.

A Salt Lake County Jail spokesman would not comment on whether a weapon was surgically extracted from Boutain's body, citing federal medical privacy laws.