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Provo woman pleads guilty to starting 2011 apartment fire that killed two

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Mark Johnston | Daily Herald Yvette Kimber leaves the courtroom after appearing before a judge at the 4th District Court in Provo in August 2011. Kimber pleaded guilty Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, to starting an apartment fire in Provo that killed two people and injured a third.

By Jessica Miller

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Aug 21 2013 04:13PM
Updated Aug 21, 2013 10:43PM

A Provo woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to reduced charges in connection with starting an apartment fire that killed two people and injured a third in 2011.

Yvette Kimber, 47, was initially charged in 4th District Court with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated arson, all first-degree felonies. She is also charged with one count of second-degree felony aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

On Wednesday, she pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, one count of arson and one count of aggravated assault — all second-degree felonies, according to court officials. She faces one to 15 years in prison for each count when she is sentenced on Oct. 4.

Kimber is accused of starting a fire on March 14, 2011 at The Boulders apartments, near 750 South and 650 West in Provo. Karen Murray and Catherine Crane were killed in the blaze.

A third woman, Jeanette Spahr, 52, was seriously injured while jumping from the burning building, and later died.

Kimber allegedly told police that the night of the fire she was suicidal and took pills, drank and smoked marijuana, believing she could fall asleep with a cigarette and start a fire. After she woke up and that didn’t happen, she tried to light paper, her couch and the pillows of her love seat on fire, court documents state.

A trial had been set for Kimber to start on Sept. 16.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller

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