Teen Arsonist Who Burned Down The Wrong House Sentenced For Killing Family Of 5

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Emily Cope Contributor
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The youngest of three teens charged in a 2020 arson that killed a family of five was sentenced in late January after pleading guilty in December.

Dillon Siebert, 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and the use of a weapon during a violent crime, which enhances the sentence, according to Denver 9 News. Siebert was sentenced as an adult to seven years in the youth offender system on Jan. 25.

The arson occurred in the early morning of Aug. 5, 2020, at the home of a Senegalese family in northwest Denver. The victims included 29-year-old Djibril Diol, 23-year-old Adja Diol, and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter Khadija. Diol’s 25-year-old sister, Hassan, and Hassan’s 6-month-old daughter, Hawa Beye, were also killed in the fire. (RELATED: Former Volunteer Firefighter Charged With Arson After Setting Church Ablaze)

Siebert was 14 at the time of the fire. He still faces separate charges in juvenile court trial on Feb. 1. He will serve time in the youth offender system after his juvenile sentence is completed.

The two other suspects, Kevin Bui and Gavin Seymour, were both charged as adults in the Denver District Court and are awaiting sentencing. Bui and Seymour were both 16 at the time of the crime.

Prosecutors said in a previous hearing for Bui and Seymour that the arson was intended as revenge for the theft of Bui’s cellphone, but a tracking app used to locate the phone led the teens to the wrong house.

According to the outlet, investigators quickly realized the fire was intentionally set, but the case remained cold until the Denver Police Department obtained a search warrant from Google in Nov. 2020. The warrant requested data on any users who had searched for the address of the home prior to the date of the fire.

Police arrested the three teens in Jan. 2021 after the warrant revealed they had searched for the address of the victims’ home multiple times in the two weeks leading up to the fire.

At sentencing, Siebert asked the Diol family for forgiveness and called his actions “unacceptable, sinful and wrong.”

Ousman Ba, a spokesperson for the family, told the outlet they were hoping for far more after waiting nearly three years for a jail sentence. “We wanted them to go through the process. Go to a jury and let the state decide with all of the evidence that came out of it. But this is what it came to,” Ba said. “It’s been almost three years now since the tragedy happened. We still haven’t found peace or closure to this case.”

“I trusted the system, and I just feel like this system doesn’t value certain people’s lives,” Ba added. “They were peacefully sleeping in their home. No connection to anything and they were burned alive. This is what we get out of it. This is what we call justice in this country.”