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Woman charged in fatal Provo fire wants to recant words

Published September 22, 2011 3:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Provo woman facing criminal charges for a fatal apartment fire wants a judge to toss out statements she made during a pair of police interviews because officers failed to provide her with an attorney.

Yvette Kimber is charged in Provo's 4th District Court with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated arson in the March 14 fire. Boulders Apartments residents Karen Murray and Catherine Crane were killed in the fire and another woman was hospitalized.

Kimber, 46, was initially questioned by police and arrested at the scene of the fire. She has rejected a plea agreement offered by Utah County prosecutors.

In court papers filed Sept. 14, defense attorney Tom Means says police interviewed Kimber on two occasions after she expressed a desire to have an attorney present. The interviews were conducted on March 15 and 16, while Kimber was being held in the Utah County Jail.

Means contends that the failure of police to provide Kimber with an attorney violates her constitutional rights. He also argues that the second interview was conducted after an initial court hearing in which a state judge said police had not established sufficient probable cause to continue to hold Kimber in jail.

Means has asked a judge to suppress the police interviews and rule the police reports submitted as evidence in the case as inadmissible.

In copies of the reports included in the court papers, Kimber makes several different statements about the fire, including that she had fallen asleep with a cigarette in her hand and that she had been attempting to commit suicide and didn't intend to hurt anyone but herself.

The reports also state the Kimber altered other residents to the fire and was among the first to call 911 to report the fire.

A hearing is set for Oct. 27.