SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – A letter sent by alleged killer Austin Boutain may backfire.
This according to a former prosecutor and currently a defense attorney.
Austin Boutain is facing aggravated murder for the death of a University of Utah student last November. He is also facing attempted aggravated murder for the student’s friend who survived the carjacking. His wife, Kathleen Boutain is facing lesser charges connected to the crime.
“My wife’s innocent” said Austin Boutain during a December court hearing.
He told the judge that his wife was not responsible.
“I’m begging you to please let her go,” he said. “I would give my life for her to take my life back. I’ll take the death penalty right now if you let my wife go.”
He followed that with a letter to the same judge. He wrote “I am writing this letter as a plea for mercy on my wife Kathleen Boutain.”
He wrote that his wife Kathleen feared him and did as he ordered.
“If I told her to hid (sic) something or do something she did it out of fear, not her own will,” wrote Boutain.
A former prosecutor said Boutain won’t get his wish.
“What it (letter) does not do is exonerate his wife,” said Kent Morgan, now a practicing defense attorney. “If I was defense attorney for his wife or the defense attorney for him, I would be very concerned.”
In the letter Boutain also wrote: “I am begging you to please put all charges on me. I will (sic) willingly except (sic) all charges and take the maximum punishment if it means my wife can go home and live a happy life.”
“Legally he has done nothing to assist her,” said Morgan. “All he has done legally is to place himself in a position of confessing the charges.”
A prosecutor in the case also said the letter doesn’t clear Kathleen Boutain. And for now, there is no talk of a plea bargain with her.
Preliminary hearing dates for the couple have not been scheduled.