DENVER (AP) — A man accused of killing a Chinese student in Utah has confessed to cutting the throat of a Colorado man days before, part of a plan to steal the 63-year-old's trailer home, according to court documents released Friday.
Both Austin Boutain and his wife, Kathleen Boutain, face murder charges in the death of Mitchell Bradford Ingle. The affidavits released late Friday by prosecutors in Colorado say the Boutains admitted in police interviews this week that Austin Boutain cut Ingle's throat as part of a plan to rob him.
Authorities in Utah have described the couple as drifters who drove Ingle's pickup truck from Colorado to Utah, then gave it to another transient couple after they arrived on Saturday.
No attorney has been listed in court or jail documents for the Boutains, who are being held in a Utah jail.
Austin Boutain, 24, told police that he and Kathleen came to Colorado in September because of its marijuana laws and lived in a tent in downtown Denver, gradually making their way west to Golden. Austin Boutain said they lived in a tent under a bridge and said he met Ingle twice, once to sell him marijuana, before the day Ingle died.
Kathleen Boutain, 23, said they went to Ingle's trailer home on Oct. 27 and smoked marijuana and drank. She said her husband got angry when Ingle made sexual comments. She said the pair decided that Austin would kill Ingle while he slept then they could drive off in the trailer home, according to the affidavit.
Austin Boutain told police he first attempted to shoot the sleeping Ingle with a crossbow but didn't injure him. Austin Boutain said he then used his knife to cut Ingle's throat, according to the document.
Boutain said they took 3 guns, some money, food and clothing before leaving in Ingle's pickup truck the next day and driving to Salt Lake City.
Utah police have said Austin Boutain used one of those handguns to kill 23-year-old Chinese computer-science student ChenWei Guo on Monday in a canyon near the University of Utah campus. Austin Boutain told investigators he killed Guo and then fired two rounds at Guo's friend so there would be no witnesses, according to Utah jail booking documents.
Ingle's body wasn't found until Tuesday when Utah police asked Colorado authorities to check on the registered owner of a pickup truck that Austin Boutain was seen driving.
Earlier Friday, Ingle's family described him as a "friend to all" who will be missed. In the statement released by Golden Police, Ingle's family said he had a contagious laugh and was a loving father and husband who enjoyed skiing and other outdoor pursuits.
Guo's family also released a statement on Friday, calling him "outgoing, adventurous, highly intellectual and a deeply faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." The statement said the family has been comforted by support they've received from his friends and people who didn't even know Guo.
"We are devastated by the loss of our son ChenWei, who brought immense joy into our lives and the lives of all who knew him," the statement said. "It is hard to capture in words his happy, positive outlook on life."