Police trying to figure out how handcuffed woman got a gun

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20 2012 3:52 p.m. MST

ST GEORGE — A woman shot by police in southern Utah remained hospitalized Tuesday as investigators tried to figure out how she was able to conceal a weapon — while handcuffed — after she had been arrested.

Joann Boone, 48, was arrested about 6 p.m. Monday in St. George on two no-bail warrants, one from Nevada and one from Hurricane Justice Court. Boone was handcuffed and searched before being transported to jail, according to Barry Golding, director of investigations for the Washington County Critical Incident Task Force, the group investigating the officer-involved shooting.

When the officer arrived at the jail, he opened the back door of his patrol car to let Boone out, only to find she was pointing a gun at him from behind her back while her hands were still cuffed, Golding said.

The weapon was an "extremely small semi-automatic handgun," he said. Where she had hid the weapon without it being detected was still being investigated Tuesday.

The officer sought cover behind his vehicle. Boone was able to slide her handcuffs under her legs so that her hands were now cuffed in front of her rather than behind her back. She then got into the driver's seat of the police car and drove off, Golding said.

The ensuing chase involved several law enforcement agencies and went through both the Hurricane and LaVerkin areas. Her tires were spiked by the Utah Highway Patrol on I-15. She continued, however, on state Route 9 back toward Hurricane.

At a Chevron station at 40 N. 6300 West in Hurricane, Boone got out of the stolen police car and tried to enter another vehicle, Golding said. She still had a gun in her handcuffed hands, he said.

During the confrontation with the officer, Boone was shot once in the hip.

Boone has a long criminal history in Utah, according to state court records. She was arrested in 2010 on a fugitive warrant out of Nevada and extradited back to that state. She was convicted of felony shoplifting in 2009 and sentenced to a year in jail. She was also convicted of felony burglary and forgery in 2009 in separate cases.

In 2004, Boone was convicted of felony theft and forgery charges and sentenced to one to 15 years at the Utah State Prison. Also in 2004, she was sentenced to up to five years in prison for a drug possession conviction.

Records also show she was arrested for drug-related crimes in Arizona, and incarcerated in Nevada for obtaining money under false pretenses.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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