Kathleen Boutain sentenced in Golden trailer park killing during couple’s two-state crime spree

A 26-year-old woman was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison in the 2017 killing of a 63-year-old Golden man.

Kathleen Boutain pleaded guilty in November to reckless manslaughter and aggravated robbery in the killing of Mitchell Ingle, who had invited Boutain and her husband, Austin Boutain, to spend the night in his trailer in October 2017. The couple was homeless at the time.

That night, Austin and Kathleen Boutain waited until Ingle fell asleep, then Austin Boutain tried to kill Ingle by shooting him with a crossbow. He missed — the shot hit Ingle’s wrist — and the man woke up and ran to the bathroom. As Ingle reached for the medicine cabinet, Austin Boutain came up behind Ingle and slit his throat, cutting himself in the process.

Kathleen Boutain helped plan the attack, stole items from the trailer and bandaged her husband’s wound afterwards, authorities said. The couple then fled to Utah, where Austin Boutain killed University of Utah student ChenWei Guo, 23. Kathleen Boutain left her husband before the second killing and alerted authorities, informing them about Ingle’s killing.

During the virtual sentencing hearing Monday, Ingle’s family members laid equal blame on Kathleen Boutain and Austin Boutain in Ingle’s death.

“My dad never got to walk me down the aisle or meet my kids,” his daughter Shelby Vernaza told the judge. “The defendant may not have slit my father’s throat, but she stood idly by while the crime happened.”

Ingle’s murder devastated the family, Vernaza said. Her father was an adventurous person, an adrenaline junkie who loved the outdoors, had recently retired and cherished his family. Ingle was sarcastic, funny, argumentative and a social butterfly, Vernaza said.

“He not only inspired our dreams but did everything in his power to help us achieve them,” Vernaza said.

Kathleen Boutain’s defense attorney, Jenna Kruszka, said her client was abused and controlled by her husband and did not know he was going to kill Ingle before he did so. Kathleen Boutain had a traumatic childhood and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder when she was in second grade, Kruszka said, which contributed to her later substance abuse and dysfunctional relationship with her husband.

Kathleen Boutain wept at times during the sentencing hearing, and read a letter apologizing for her role in the killing.

“I can tell you I feared my husband,” she said. “But I should have been stronger than I was. My life will never be the same… I wish I could go back and change what happened. But I can’t, and it hurts me deeply. The person I was that night is not who I am.”

District Judge Lily Oeffler sentenced Kathleen Boutain to 16 years in prison on the aggravated robbery charge and six years for the reckless manslaughter, with the sentences running concurrently and with credit for about three years of time served.

Austin Boutain pleaded guilty to first-degree murder was sentenced to life in prison in 2019 for Ingle’s killing.

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