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20-year-old man pleads guilty to murder after starting house fire that killed 5 family members

Those convicted in the case claimed they mistakenly believed a stolen iPhone was in the home and set the house on fire as revenge, according to an arrest affidavit.
A Denver area home was set on fire by suspects who said they believed a stolen iPhone was inside
Posted at 8:33 PM, May 17, 2024

A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of second-degree murder for starting a house fire that killed five family members in a Denver, Colorado home nearly four years ago.

Kevin Bui agreed to serve 60 years in prison for multiple counts of second-degree murder in connection to the Aug. 5, 2020, fire that killed five Senegalese family members in a home. Dozens of other charges against him, including those in separate case where he was accused of distributing drugs while in jail in 2022, were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Bui and two teenagers — Gavin Seymour and Dillon Siebert — were accused in January 2021 of intentionally setting fire to the house in the overnight hours. The trio claimed they mistakenly believed Bui's stolen iPhone was in the home, and set the home on fire as revenge, according to an arrest affidavit.

Djibril Diol, 29; Adja Diol, 23; Khadija Diol, 2; Hassan Diol, 25; and 6-month-old Hawa Baye were killed in the blaze.

Diol Family

Siebert, who was 15 at the time, pleaded guilty in December of 2022 to a second-degree murder charge that included a sentence enhancer for using a weapon in a crime. He was sentenced about two months later.

The cases against Seymour and Bui, however, were stalled for several months while the Colorado Supreme Court considered whether the methods used by police to identify them as suspects in the arson were legal in the first place.

A search warrant requested by the Denver Police Department in the case required Google to turn over records of keyword searches for that address within a specific time frame — likely violating the suspect's Fourth Amendment rights, which protect them from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The state's supreme court upheld that controversial search warrant in October of last year, and the cases against Seymour and Bui were able to move forward.

19-year-old sentenced to 40 years in case of deadly arson in Green Valley Ranch

Bui was also charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, assault, burglary and arson, but the charges were dismissed because of the plea agreement.

Siebert was sentenced to a total 10 years behind bars in February 2023, followed by Seymour, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison in March 2024.

Bui's sentencing is scheduled for July 2, 2024, at 9 a.m. in Denver District Court.

This story was originally published by Oscar Contreras at Scripps News Denver.