Man accused of killing U. student pleads guilty and apologizes
MATHESON COURTHOUSE – The man accused of shooting and killing a University of Utah student last year confessed to his crimes in court, and will never be free again.
Austin Boutain pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in the death of ChenWei Guo last October. As part of that deal, both sides agreed Boutain would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He also pleaded guilty to aggravated attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault of an inmate after he reportedly stabbed someone while in jail.
Prosecutors say Guo’s family is fully behind the deal.
Salt Lake County Deputy District Attorney Chou Chou Collins says, “They’re in agreement with this resolution because this way they can move on with their grief and have a good memory of their son.”
Guo’s friend, who was with him during the time of the botched carjacking and shooting, was not in the courtroom.
“She couldn’t bear the idea of coming back to this town again,” Collins told the judge, adding that she would be willing to testify in court if she needed to.
Boutain showed little emotion while talking to the judge, and simply replied “Yes, sir,” when he was asked if he understood what he was agreeing to. However, he had a message for his victims.
“I just want to say to the family and the victims that I know ‘sorry’ doesn’t mean much, but, I am truly sorry,” Boutain said.
Outside of the courtroom, Boutain’s attorney, Michael Sikora, says his client is remorseful about what he did.
“His parents want everyone to know and the victims to know how sorry they are about what happened and that they are praying for all the victims and the victims’ families.”
Sikora also says he didn’t have to work hard to convince Boutain to take the deal.
“This was something that he was hoping for from the very beginning.”
The legal troubles aren’t over for Boutain. He’s still facing a first-degree murder charge in Colorado. Sikora says he’s not sure when officials from that state will pursue that charge.