PROVO, Utah (AP) - A Provo woman pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and aggravated arson and assault charges after authorities say she started an apartment fire that killed two people.
Yvette Kimber, 45, faces two counts of first-degree felony murder and one count each of second-degree felony aggravated arson and aggravated assault in the March 14 fire at the Boulders Apartments in Provo.
In July, Utah County prosecutors offered her a deal and 30 days to make her decision. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but since Kimber declined, she'll now stand trial and could face life in prison if convicted.
"I kind of expected it to happen, but I hoped she would take the plea," said Jeanette Spahr, who jumped from a second-story window to escape the fire and suffered permanent injuries. "It's frustrating. She doesn't care one way or the other."
Karen Murray and Catherine Crane were killed in the blaze. Kimber's sister, Yvonne Terry, has said Yvette Kimber was suicidal at the time and trying to kill herself when she set the blaze. Terry said her sister never meant to hurt anyone else.
Police have said Kimber originally told investigators she dropped a cigarette while smoking but later claimed she didn't remember if she started the fire intentionally to kill herself.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)