The man was sentenced to 40 years for killing 5 people in Denver

DENVERPOST

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Denver District Court Judge Karen Brody sentenced Gavin Seymour to the maximum possible sentence he faced.
Seymour and two other teenagers — Kevin Bui and Dillon Siebert — were accused of intentionally setting the family’s house on fire in the middle of the night.
Investigators believe Bui mistakenly thought someone who had stolen his phone lived in the home and set the house on fire as revenge.
…I want to say how truly sorry I am to the family members and community for all the harm I’ve done.”The victims’ relatives and friends called for the maximum sentence in court Friday.
“Even if you kill five sheep or goats, you should get a maximum sentence,” he said, speaking through a translator over the phone from Senegal.
The morning after the blaze, Seymour read news about the killings, searched online for information about law enforcement agencies and about the prison sentence for murder.
It took investigators months to identify the teens, and Seymour never came forward on his own, Baker said.
“…I can’t think of any other one that is more deserving of a maximum sentence allowed… There are five victims.
“I hope when you die you will die slow and hard,” Amadou Baye, who lost his wife and infant in the fire, told Seymour in court Friday.
The cases against Bui and Seymour stalled for several months after the pair challenged the legality of the search warrant Denver police used to identify them as suspects in the fire.

For lighting a home fire more than three years ago in Denver’s Green Valley Ranch neighborhood that claimed the lives of five Senegalese family members, a 19-year-old man was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Friday.

Judge Karen Brody of the Denver District Court handed down the harshest punishment Gavin Seymour could have received.

“I’m sure that this tragedy is beyond comprehension for all those involved,” Brody remarked. The most innocent of lives were lost. “.

When Seymour entered a guilty plea in January to a single count of second-degree murder in the Aug., a sentencing range of 16 to 40 years was decided upon. 5, 2020, a fire in a Truckee Street home claimed the lives of three adults and two children.

Along with Djibril’s sister Hassan Diol, 25, and her 6-month-old daughter Hawa Baye, Djibril Diol, 29, his wife Adja Diol, 23, and their daughter Khadija Diol, 1, perished in the fire.

The family’s home was allegedly purposefully set on fire in the middle of the night by Seymour and two other teenagers, Kevin Bui and Dillon Siebert. Investigators believe that Bui mistook the residence for a place where someone had stolen his phone and set it on fire in retaliation.

Seymour expressed regret for his acts in court on Friday.

“I would go back in time and stop all of this,” he declared. I constantly experience overwhelming regret and guilt for the things I have done. I would like to express my sincere apologies to the family and the community for all the hurt I have caused. “.

In court on Friday, the victims’ friends and relatives urged the maximum sentence. After his daughter Hassan and son Djibril perished in a fire, Hanady Diol said that his children were his “hope and life” and that he had considered taking his own life. A life sentence was what he was saying.

He said, speaking over the phone from Senegal through a translator, “Even if you kill five sheep or goats, you should get a maximum sentence.”. This individual seems to be talking about thirty or forty years old. In other words, there isn’t any justice there. It is indisputable that the deceased were human beings. “.

Police Detective Neil Baker of Denver stated in court on Friday that Seymour, Bui, and Siebert had planned the fire for weeks. Seymour researched law enforcement organizations, prison sentences for murder, and other topics online the morning following the fire. He also read the news about the killings.

According to Baker, it took months for investigators to identify the teenagers, and Seymour never came forward on his own.

Baker declared, “This is by far the worst, most pointless murder investigation I have ever conducted.”. There are five victims, and I can’t think of another who is more worthy of the maximum sentence permitted. Of them, two were infants. “.

At the time, Siebert was 14 years old, and Seymour and Bui were 16 years old. In 2022, Siebert entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder. Bui’s case is still pending.

After losing his wife and child in the fire, Amadou Baye told Seymour in court on Friday, “I hope when you die you will die slow and hard.”. “And you’ll pass away young. And I hope that you will experience the same level of agony as they did as you pass away. You’ll experience all of the agony that we are currently experiencing. “.

Prosecutor Courtney Johnston stated that Djibril Diol attempted to carry his wife and daughter out of the house, making it down a flight of stairs before they fell near the exit.

In court on Friday, a number of Seymour’s allies also spoke, characterizing him as a kind and courteous adolescent who battled a learning disability and low self-esteem in high school. They claimed that because of his low self-esteem, he was more susceptible to peer pressure, especially during the social unrest brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seymour’s lawyer, Jenifer Stinson, referred to Seymour as a “follower,” accused Bui of being the mastermind behind the trio’s plan to set the house on fire, and urged the judge to give Seymour the minimum 16-year prison sentence. She emphasized that he had no prior criminal record and that since teenage suspects’ brains are still developing, they should be handled differently from adult suspects.

“It is possible for two things to be true,” she stated in court on Friday. “A child may make an impulsive, careless, fatal decision, but the same individual may also be endearing, compassionate, humorous, in need of support, and in pain. And that person on that list is Gavin Seymour. “.

Given that Seymour committed the crimes as a minor, Johnston requested the maximum 40 years in prison and mentioned that he would be qualified for a special early release in 20 years. In 2041, 20 years after his arrest, he could apply for the three-year program, and after finishing it, he could be released, she said.

The next scheduled court date for Bui, who is accused of several first-degree murder counts, is March 21.

Following Bui and Seymour’s legal challenges to the validity of the search warrant Denver police used to identify them as fire suspects, the cases against them were put on hold for several months. In October, the search warrant was upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court.

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