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Man gets life in killing of Tucson Sunday school teacher
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Man gets life in killing of Tucson Sunday school teacher

A man convicted of murder in the 2008 disappearance of a Tucson Sunday school teacher was sentenced to life in prison Monday.

Luis Vargas was convicted in August of first-degree murder, burglary, kidnapping, arson, vehicle theft, and credit card theft. The charges stemmed from the disappearance of 62-year-old Kay Read, who lived on Tucson’s east side and taught Sunday school at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Police searched for Read, who used crutches and leg braces due to childhood polio, but never found her body. Police found Read’s van on fire in a parking lot two miles from her home on the 7300 block of East Marigold Circle near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Vargas was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on the murder charge; 13.25 years for burglary in the second degree;13.25 years for vehicle theft; 12 years for arson; 7.75 years for kidnapping; and seven years for theft of a credit card.

Read opened the door of her house to Vargas when he asked for help, but Vargas “overwhelmed” her, a prosecutor said after the August conviction. Vargas previously spent more than seven years in prison on two unrelated burglary charges.

Read went missing from her home on the city’s southeast side on Feb. 15, 2008.

Contact Curt Prendergast at 573-4224 or cprendergast@tucson.com. On Twitter @CurtTucsonStar.

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