SALT LAKE CITY — The man accused of shooting and killing a University of Utah student in a carjacking attempt near Red Butte Garden, who corrections officials report has been causing problems while in jail, faces even more charges.
Austin "AJ" Boutain, 24, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with possessing a weapon while in jail, a second-degree felony, and threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor.
Boutain already faces a charge of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and a potential capital offense, for the death of U. student ChenWei Guo, 23, last fall.
Since his arrest on Oct. 31, Boutain has also 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.
According to his new charges, on Feb. 18 Boutain "retrieved a metal shank from his waistband and repeatedly threatened to stab the first officer who came through his cell door."
Boutain then stabbed his mattress to prove the shank had a sharp edge and tied it around his waist to make it more difficult for officers to take it away from him, the charges state.
Corrections officers deployed pepper spray into his cell until he gave up the shank, according to court documents.
A recent search warrant affidavit revealed that while he has been incarcerated, at least five investigations into alleged criminal activity by Boutain have been conducted.
"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.
The Deseret News obtained copies of all five police reports through a public records request.
As early as Nov. 1, one day after his arrest, after doctors in the mental health unit attempted to evaluate Boutain, corrections officials watched Boutain go back to his cell, crouch behind a pony wall, and then saw blood on the cell walls, one report states.
"I asked the prisoner what was going on. He was shouting incoherently. I asked him to show me his wound. I could see blood dripping from his left hand," the report states.
In another report regarding the attack on Jan. 14, prisoners at the jail were being moved for their time out of their cells and Boutain "was fully restrained and placed on the kiosk for his time out," according to the report. "He was attached to the wall anchor hook located next to the kiosk. Prisoner was fully restrained."
Not long after, Boutain somehow slipped out of his restraints and ran toward another inmate.
"Boutain attacked (inmate) who was still fully restrained to the wall," according to the report.
Additional details were also provided on the Feb. 18 incident in a third police report. Boutain was spotted that day during his time out of his cell "banging his handcuffs against the corner of a wall in order to break the double lock system," the report states.
After officers gained control of Boutain, he was told the rest of his out-of-cell time was revoked and he was being put back in his cell, according to the police report.
"He became agitated stating he wanted to use the phone. He also said someone is going to pay for his wife being disrespected by one of our deputies," the report states.
Boutain's wife, Kathleen Boutain, is accused along with her husband in 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 before the couple came to Utah.
When he was put back in his cell, Boutain brandished an unknown object, told officers that he "had it the whole time" and flushed it down the toilet, the report states.
"Prisoner Boutain then wrapped a wet towel around his face, put toilet paper in his nose, and placed a pencil in a toothpaste container. Boutain began stating that he was ready to play and pulled out a metal shank from his waistband," according to the report.
Boutain initially tried to block his cell door by holding his mattress against it. Officers used an object to knock Boutain and the mattress back and fired pepper spray into his cell.
"Prisoner Boutain adjusted his grip on his mattress which caused his mask to fall. Boutain began coughing and sputtering and surrendered the weapon to us by sliding it under the door and went to his knees in the cell," the report states.
In yet another incident on Feb. 20, Boutain was spotted by an officer sharpening something on the ground, according to the police report. He later told another inmate, "He saw me working. But it's cool I hide it in my tail," the report states.
Several officers responded to Boutain's cell and ordered him to submit to being handcuffed so they could search him. He refused and wrapped a towel around his head to prepare for pepper spray, according to the report. After multiple commands and multiple rounds of peppery spray, Boutain was restrained and taken to the medical unit for a body scan. Broken glass was also found in his toilet, the report states.
The next day, Boutain was spotted with a screw that he had removed from a light fixture, according to another report.
"Boutain showed me a single screw in his hands and asked if I knew what he could do with that," the officer wrote in the report.
But when officers went to his cell they couldn't find a screw and Boutain denied having one, the report states.
After several body scans, the screw was found hidden in Boutain's nose, according to the report.
On March 5, Boutain was suspected of once again having a shank, according to the recent search warrant. He told another inmate he had found a way to hide it internally so the scanners could not detect it, the warrant states. Boutain was taken to a local hospital at that time to be scanned by better equipment.