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Provo woman pleads guilty in fatal apartment fire

Published: Thursday, July 2 2015 7:17 a.m. MDT

Yvette Kimber  (Associated Press) Yvette Kimber (Associated Press)

PROVO — A Provo woman charged with killing two people in a 2011 apartment fire pleaded guilty to reduced charges Wednesday.

Yvette Kimber, 46, pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, arson and aggravated assault, all second-degree felonies, in 4th District Court, court officials reported.

Kimber was originally facing two counts of murder and one count of aggravated arson, all first-degree felonies, in connection with the March 14, 2011, blaze.

Karen Murray and Catherine Crane were killed, and another woman, Jeanette Spahr, was hospitalized following the fire at the Boulders Apartments, 750 S. 650 West.

Court records indicate that attorneys announced a plea agreement had been reached earlier Wednesday and an arraignment was set for the afternoon. It was at that hearing that Kimber pleaded guilty to the amended charges.

Kimber called police the night of the fire, saying she was suicidal and going to overdose on medication, according to a police affidavit. One minute later, firefighters received a call reporting the blaze.

The women told officers at the scene that she had fallen asleep holding a lit cigarette. She said she had been in a fight with her boyfriend earlier and started taking pills and drinking beer, the affidavit states. She also said she was smoking marijuana.

Kimber told police she was sitting on the love seat in her living room, smoking and looking at a basketball schedule, when she dropped the cigarette. The love seat heated up and a throw pillow on the seat caught on fire. She then ran next door to a neighbor's home to report the blaze.

"(Police) asked Yvette if she, because of her suicidal feelings, lit the fire on purpose," the affidavit states. "Yvette stated she did not know."

A trial slated for September was canceled. Sentencing has been set for Oct. 4.

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