A teen gets 40 years in prison for a house fire that killed five people

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One of three teens charged with starting a house fire in Denver that killed five members of a Senegalese family has been sentenced to 40 years in prisonDENVER — One of three teenagers charged with starting a Denver house fire that killed five people — apparently out of revenge for a stolen cellphone that was mistakenly traced to the home — was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison.
Gavin Seymour, 19, pleaded guilty in January to one count of second-degree murder for his role in the Aug. 5, 2020, fire that killed five members of a Senegalese family.
Denver District Court Judge Karen Brody sentenced him to the maximum possible term he faced, The Denver Post reported.
“This is a tragedy that is, I’m sure for everyone involved, incomprehensible,” Brody said.
Seymour and Bui, who is accused of being the ringleader, were both 16 at the time of the fire.
“Even if you kill five sheep or goats, you should get a maximum sentence,” relative Hanady Diol told the court Friday through a translator over the phone from Senegal.
Attorneys for Seymour and Bui challenged the search warrant, but the Colorado Supreme Court upheld the search for this case.
Bui is next due in court on March 21, according to The Denver Post.
“There is not a moment that goes by that I don’t feel extreme guilt and remorse for my actions.
… I want to say how truly sorry I am to the family members and community for all the harm I’ve done.”

40 years in prison have been imposed on one of the three teenagers accused of starting the Denver house fire that killed five members of a Senegalese family.

DENVER — A 40-year prison sentence was handed down on Friday to one of the three teenagers convicted of setting a Denver house fire that claimed the lives of five people. The charges stemmed from the theft of a cellphone that was mistakenly linked to the residence.

Gavin Seymour, 19, admitted his involvement in the August incident to one count of second-degree murder in January. 5, 2020, fire claimed the lives of five Senegalese family members. Judge Karen Brody of Denver District Court gave him the longest sentence imaginable, according to The Denver Post.

Brody remarked, “I’m sure that everyone involved finds this tragedy incomprehensible.”. The most innocent of lives were lost. “.

Seymour was accused of starting the fire in the middle of the night, along with two other teenagers, Kevin Bui and Dillon Siebert. The victims of the fire were the family members Djibril Diol, 29, Adja Diol, 23, Khadija Diol, 1, Hassan Diol, 25, and 6-month-old Hawa Baye. Three more individuals managed to flee by leaping from the home’s second story.

When Siebert was sentenced in February 2023 to three years in juvenile detention and seven years in a state prison program for young inmates, he was seventeen years old at the time of the fire. The accused ringleader, Bui, and Seymour were both 16 years old when the fire occurred. Bui is being charged with several counts of first-degree murder; the case is still pending.

Months passed with no leads in the fire investigation. Many immigrants from Senegal installed security cameras at their homes out of fear that they would also be targeted in the fire that they thought was the result of hate crimes.

Through a phone interpreter, relative Hanady Diol from Senegal told the court on Friday, “Even if you kill five sheep or goats, you should get a maximum sentence.”. The individual speaking is approximately thirty or forty years old. It simply indicates that there isn’t any justice there. It is indisputable that the deceased were human beings. “.

After Google was asked to provide the names of the accounts that had searched the home’s address within 15 days following the fire, police were able to obtain a search warrant and identify the boys as suspects.

According to court documents, Bui informed investigators that he had been robbed the month prior to the fire while attempting to purchase a gun and that he had used an app to track his iPhone back to the residence. Police said that although he had admitted to lighting the fire, he learned the following day from news reports that the victims were not the ones who had robbed him.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the search in this particular case despite the attorneys for Seymour and Bui challenging the search warrant. The Denver Post states that Bui’s next court date is March 21.

For his part in the fire, Seymour expressed regret in court on Friday.

“He stated that he would go back in time and stop everything from happening.”. I constantly experience overwhelming regret and guilt for the things I have done. I want to sincerely apologize to the family and the community for all the hurt I have caused. “.

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