Teen Gets 40 Years Jail Time For Denver House Fire Which Killed Five People: Report

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Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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One of the three teens responsible for starting a fire in Denver’s Green Valley Ranch neighborhood which claimed the lives of five individuals was sentenced Friday, the Denver Post reported.

Gavin Seymour, 19, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after he plead guilty to second-degree murder over his role in the Aug. 5, 2020 fire. The blaze resulted in the deaths of five members of a Senegalese immigrant family that included Djibril Diol, 29, Adja Diol, 23, Khadija Diol, 1, Hassan Diol, 25, and six-month-old Hawa Baye. Denver District Court Judge Karen Brody handed down the maximum sentence to Seymour, according to the Denver Post.

“This is a tragedy that is, I’m sure for everyone involved, incomprehensible,” Brody said, the Denver Post reported. “There was a loss of the most innocent of lives.”

Seymour expressed regret at his sentencing

“If I could go back and prevent all this I would,” he said, 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.”

The fire which destroyed the family’s home was reportedly a misguided attempt at revenge. Seymour, Kevin Bui and Dillon Siebert, teenagers at the time, set the house on fire over a stolen iPhone, according to the outlet. Months passed before authorities found a lead on the incident, according to the outlet. The investigation shifted towards the suspects after a court authorized police to access Google records to see who had searched for the house’s address in the two weeks before the incident, according to the outlet.

Bui reported a robbery a month prior to the incident while trying to buy a gun, according to the outlet, citing court documents. He reportedly found his iPhone at the house using a tracking app. Bui admitted to setting the fire but learned from the next day’s news that he had targeted the wrong people, the Denver Post reported. (RELATED: Louisiana Man Charged With Arson That Killed His Three Kids)

When the fire occurred, Siebert was 14 years old and was sentenced as a 17-year-old February 2023 to three years in a juvenile facility and then seven years in a state young offenders’ program, according to the Denver Post. Seymour and Bui, the latter accused of leading the plot, were 16 years old at the time, according to the outlet. Bui, facing multiple first-degree murder charges, is still undergoing trial and is set to appear in court March 21, 2024.